Life in the SLO Lane: Part 1

I have a knack for turning just about any trip into a baseball trip. My wife is a good sport about this — as well she should be; after all, we first met at a hockey game. What did she expect?

A few weeks back we drove up the California coast to San Luis Obispo for her birthday. Now I know what you’re thinking: It’s winter, there’s no baseball going on. And even if it were, it sure wouldn’t be going on in that part of the world. No major league team, no minor league team; heck, not even a Division I school. Maybe some Little League, but that’s about it.

No, there were no games going on. But there were book and game stores, and you’d better believe I picked up some goodies.

Our first stop was a game/comic book store. Here, hidden among the D & D miniatures and various mutations of Monopoly, I found the “Tarot of Baseball,” published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., of Stamford, Connecticut. From the instruction booklet that came with the deck:

Like the traditional Tarot, the Tarot of Baseball is built on the interweaving of metaphors and meanings. Each reading reveals a meaning and myth that draws upon the basic icons of the game. By lending a present context to the symbols and aphorisms, the Seeker can divine from the layout of the cards a sense of where the future may lead. In other words, baseball is life, and life is baseball.

I still haven’t figured out how exactly to use these cards, but I have to respect a system that acknowledges the undeniable link between baseball and life.

All the traditional Tarot icons have been updated to work within the baseball context. For example, The Fool is now The Rookie, Justice is The Umpire, etc. The artwork on the cards is great: My favorite is the Four of Balls, which features a pitcher lying on his back on a bench, presumably in the locker room, with four baseballs on the floor beneath him and a sign on the wall above which proclaims that “Walks Will Come Back to Haunt You.”

I really don’t know what I’m going to do with this deck of cards now that I have them other than look at them every so often and say, “cool!” Then again, if I figure out how to use them soon enough, maybe they’ll help me in evaluating pitchers for my upcoming Scoresheet drafts.

For more information on the “Tarot of Baseball,” visit

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