07.30.2012

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Nine super innings: DC Superstars #10

BuckBokai was going to do a full-on review of a highlight in science-fiction sports literary history, namely the lead story of DC Super Stars #10 (1976), but the issue has proved elusive to download and more importantly has been amazingly critically analyzed by Comic Treadmill back in 2005 and recently by Baseball Prospectus, so we’ll refer you to those links.

If you haven’t been lucky enough to experience the life-changing greatest of DC Comics finally living up to their “Strange Sports Stories” franchise in form, this epic is based on an argument between the simply awesome Sportsmaster and the Huntress. This couple makes a bet stemming from a dispute in which the Huntress maintains that the bad guys never win (she must have been hip to the Comics Code Authority of Earth prime, eh?) and thus set up a superheroes vs. supervillians match.

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07.14.2012

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The (E)X(ley)-Files: Reviewing “The Unnatural”

Obviously aliens: Josh Exley…

Full disclosure: BuckBokai always hated the X-Files, considering the series essentially a science-fiction bastard child of obnoxious 1980s cop melodrama Miami Vice and the early 90s stupidity that was Twin Peaks. Nevertheless, since, as per the mainstream American TV norm, the ‘Files include a baseball-themed episode, season six’s “The Unnatural,” BuckBokai today turns back the clock 13 years for a viewing and reviewing of the episode.

Those familiar with the exploits of super-secret government agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully can recall that scripts mostly consisted of a load of unlikely lines and in-references poorly delivered by the principals. “The Unnatural” is happily at least half an exception here, a standalone episode with the presence of Mulder and Scully kept to a minimum via means of a frame-story device; David Duchovny directed this one and actually incorporates some nice visual touches linking the two eras of the story.

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07.11.2012

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Superheroes Playing Sports is Gallery Of Awesomeness

Heads up on the online find of the week: Check out the excellently-named fan art website Bam! Kapow! for a frackin’ awesome gallery they just had to call “Superheroes Playing Sports.”

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07.09.2012

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The top 10 science-fiction sports of all-time

All right, so BuckBokai tries to come off the disabled list today – yes, it seemed like a career-ending injury for a while there, thanks to Father Time (who, as Charles Barkley once so philosophically stated, is undefeated). But fingers crossed that this time BuckBokai once again plays at his steady level.

So to (re)start things off, let’s get back to the basics with a look at the Top 10 Science-Fiction Sports ever devised.

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11.29.2010

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R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010), world’s funniest umpire and Kirk precursor

One of BuckBokai’s faves – and surely one of anyone who digs on sports and science-fiction movies – has passed on, is no more, has ceased to be, has expired and gone to meet his maker, et cetera. Leslie Nielsen succumbed to complications caused by pneumonia in a Ft. Lauderdale hospital last night.

Nielsen is most remembered among sports fans (and the general movie-going populace) for his starring roles in “Airplane,” also featuring Kareem “Roger Murdock” Abdul-Jabbar, and the “Naked Gun” trilogy alongside He Who Shall Not Be Named plus a most memorable turn in episode one by Reggie Jackson. Goddamn it, too, if that umpire scene in Naked Gun I still isn’t one of moviedom’s funniest baseball scenes ever. We love it!

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10.31.2010

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Happy 12th, Harmon Bokai!

BuckBokai today wishes an extremely happy birthday (and thus perhaps a San Francisco Giants win in game three of the World Series tonight; more on this below) to Harmon Gin Bokai. Young “Buck” was born on October 31, 1998 in Marina del Rey, California.

While no evidence that the Bokai Family still lives in the coastal town exists (most of the autobiographical information on Buck will be gotten by outlets such as this by way of a 2026 baseball card), it’s nice to think that the future Hall of Famer is growing up in the vicinity of Starfleet’s future headquarters.

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10.24.2010

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Rangers vs. Giants World Series: The future is here

Well, welcome to the future: the San Francisco Giants (!) and Texas Rangers (!!!!) will meet in the 2010 World Series, thereby giving the first World Series title ever to one of these entities, snapping a half-century long deprivation of such, and eliminating the possibility of using either squad to represent far-flung o-so-strange science-fiction futures.

Like the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates to which BuckBokai devoted an earlier entry, the Giants and Rangers are seeking to break historically notable runs of futility. In fact, the vanquished team in 2010 goes home with the second-longest active run of World Series futility. Reads the all-time list:

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10.23.2010

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Sports Guy on boring stuff, Unbreakable 2

Bill Simmons, a.k.a. The Sports Guy over at ESPN.com, has outdone BuckBokai – imagine that – and in his latest LOL-packed mailbag column, Simmons riffs on “Seven Topics You Should Never Discuss.” The ‘Guy brings some salient points to the discussion about the undiscussable; unfortunately, his list is rather bereft of science-fiction references.

You should never discuss, proclaimeth the Simmons:

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10.17.2010

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Review: “Danger on the Martian Links”

The BuckBokai 40th-anniversary retrospective of DC Comics’ “Strange Sports Stories” mini-run appearing in Brave and the Bold issues 45-49 continues. Today: The Brave and the Bold backup story in issue 46, “Danger on the Martin Links,” a nice attempt in the subsubgenre and nearly inspired enough to neutralize the idiocy of “The Hotshot Hoopsters” somewhat, is reviewed.

Whoof. Well, after the debacle that was the Brave and the Bold no. 46 lead story, i.e. “The Hot-Shot Hoopsters,” science-fiction sports fans will be pleased to hear that the backup tale is actually not bad. Not great, mind you, but with a glimmer of interesting material and a glimpse at what might have been.

(Or “what would be,” perhaps – BuckBokai still has high hopes for DC Comics’ “Strange Sports Stories” mini(?)-series of 1973-74, to be read through and reviewed after finishing up the BotB run.)

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10.12.2010

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Brainwashed again by Schoolhouse Rock

Just because BuckBokai has a blog and wants to share the pain … see, not too long ago, yours truly turned the little bucks (ages 5 and 3½) onto “Schoolhouse Rock.”

For those of you not ancient enough to remember, these were catchy three-minute educational short animated films cleverly disguised as music videos (or were they music videos cleverly disguised as educational short animated films?) that ran between your regularly-scheduled cartoons on Saturday and Sunday mornings. See, back in the late 70s/early 80s, we didn’t have cable TV and … ah, you’d never believe it. Just go with it.

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09.19.2010

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Happy 40th, Ball Four!

How this event passed so low under the media radar is beyond BuckBokai – unless it can simply be attributed to the reality that *nobody reads books anymore* – but the 40th anniversary of the release of “Ball Four” was celebrated in Burbank yesterday with a show put on by nonprofit historical group The Baseball Reliquary.

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08.19.2010

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Random thought re: Roger Clemens busted

So ESPN is reporting that the New York Times is reporting that Roger Clemens will reportedly be “indicted on charges of making false statements to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs,” i.e., let’s face it, anabolic steroids and human growth hormones.

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08.08.2010

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Review: “The Challenge of the Headless Baseball Team”

In this, the 75th anniversary of DC Comics and the 40th anniversary of that brave and bold experiment to craft science-fiction stories for the pages of a superhero comic, BuckBokai begin its reviews of the stories inside Brave and the Bold nos. 45-49.

Issue #45 in DC Comics’ distinctly daffy plan to present science-fiction sports stories on a regular basis led with a story called “The Challenge of the Headless Baseball Team.”

Immediate thoughts upon seeing the cover of Brave & the Bold #45 (in no particular order):

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07.30.2010

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What If Baseball: 1961 New York Yankees vs. 1978 Boston Red Sox

In currently going through the entire Star Trek: Deep Space Nine run, BuckBokai recently got a good excuse to spend some time at his second-favorite website, the most excellent WhatIfSports.com.

The inspiration was founded in a thought-provoking notion about 24th-century hologram technology from the fourth-season episode “For the Cause.” Jake Sisko brings baseball-loving dad Benjamin a gift of a holosuite program featuring a showdown between the 1961 New York Yankees and the 1978 Boston Red Sox.

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07.29.2010

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Gōjin Ishihara clippings: Primitive man whoops ass in baseball, wrestling

If you’re a proper sci-fi geek (hey, present company included, trust me), you’ve surely called up “io9.com” on your browser well before humble BuckBokai.com and thus have already seen this insane stuff by Japanese artist Gōjin Ishihara.

BuckBokai clips them here for posterity. Both of these images come from a comic book called “Prehistoric Man.” Still of the Hanshin Tigers-Yomiuri Giants baseball game is particularly bizarre, especially since the man on third is certain to be doubled up by the leaping Cro-Magnon … is prehistoric man also coaching the team?

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07.25.2010

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Happy Turn Ahead the Clock Week!

Today is July 25th, which means BuckBokai will take this opportunity to celebrate that greatest of real-life sports events ever, namely the Turn Ahead the Clock games held by Major League Baseball in 1998 and 1999.

Begun with a single freaky promotion designed as a parody of “Turn Back the Clock Nights,” the first such game featuring futuristic duds happened on July 18, 1998 in a game pitting the Kansas City Royals against the Seattle Mariners. (Is there anything Seattle couldn’t do in the 1990s?)

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