P&P Reading Club: Adam Webb on The Art of Fielding Chapters 34- 52

he art of fielding by chad harbachFind more of Adam at Everyday Footnotes.

I have made a point of avoiding anything that might spoil any part of TAF for me. I *did* buy last month’s Vanity Fair so I could read Keith Gessen’s article on TAF as a snapshot of the publishing industry (Interesting and infuriating note: when you get to the end of the Keith Gessen article there’s a notice that Vanity Fair is selling a longer version of the article in ebook format) but I read the article carefully, skipping over the paragraphs describing the TAF’s plot and the ways the book changed over the last 10 years. I remained in the dark, exactly where I wanted to be.
So I was pretty upset when I came across a Facebook comment a little over a week ago about Henry’s case of Steve Blass disease. Last week the same diagnosis showed up on this website from other bookclubbers. Had I fallen behind on the reading schedule? Had I skipped the chapter where Schwartz and Pella dragged Henry to the doctor?

If “Steve Blass disease” had been an obscure enough baseball term to show up in the Rogue’s Baseball Index, I might have remembered it from my studies.

I can no longer pass. My baseball knowledge is so shallow that I thought Steve Blass disease was a medical condition. It feels good to get that out in the open. (Your turn, Guert.)

Last week I wrote that Henry’s collapse wasn’t as interesting to me as the anticipation for what comes after the collapse. Then comes a the riveting scene in which Henry calls it quits mid-game. I’ll need to retract my previous comment.

I would wrap this up by remarking that Pella’s amous bouche of earring is the most compelling example of pica in a baseball novel, but for all I know there was a character in The Natural that ate pencil erasers.

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