Delmon Young's Weekly Review Of Literature And The Arts

The new scoreboard at Target Field has room to grace us with all sorts of facts, including this one: Delmon Young's favorite book is "The Great Gatsby." Now, Parker Hageman posted that picture, and he seems to think this isn't likely; "I call shenanigans," he says. But what Parker doesn't know is that Young is not only a connoisseur of great literature - he's a first-class patron of the arts, so much so that he writes his own weekly newsletter.

It actually explains a lot...

by Delmon Young*

Hello again, my artisans and artistes! I fear it has been too long since I've favored you with my rambling digressions. It seems that we were just talking of the Cézannes at the Met – was that really just two weeks ago? – and now here we all are again. Thankfully, since I last authored I have been back to our fair Middle Western home to examine the goings-on. Minneapolis in the spring is the perfect time and place to meander with my thoughts – to ramble through Rabelais and to wander through Wordsworth.

You'll pardon me these, my few musings for this week:

  • Do not forget to mark your calendars for our Bloomsday celebrations! I hardly need tell you on which day they will take place. I fear that, like Leopold Bloom, I will be pulled away from my appointed task – we have a game against the White Sox at noon – but I'll be swinging at every pitch I see so that I may earlier join in the celebrations!
  • Once again I've been reading through "Gatsby", as I'm so often drawn to do, and yet again I've found something for my discourse. "It was the hour of a profound human change, " writes Fitzgerald, of the hour when Daisy and Gatsby and Nick listen to the piano and the electric trains rattle through West Egg. "Excitement was generating on the air," writes F., and I thought, how true that is! How often something so simple – a piano or a train journey – changes our whole outlook on our own states of being!

    This point was driven home to me as I was in left field chasing after a short fly ball, which I misjudged ever so slightly and which landed thirty feet behind me. Such a frisson of excitement I have seldom felt. Ron Gardenhire, philosopher though he is not, must have felt it too: "Dammit, Delmon, I wish I could take away your glove and make you the bullpen catcher for the rest of your career," he said. I couldn't have said it better myself.
  • I finally graced the Guthrie to see "Arms and the Man." Some people deride Shaw as light entertainment, but he's plenty weighty for this haunter of the front row! I will say that, though it's not written for the thrust stage, an ambitious production could certainly make use of the extra space provided as compared to the proscenium model. I look forward to some young Turk of a director making just such an attempt.

    I've given this a lot of thought myself. These questions do occupy my mind. I should make cards to hand out, because it seems like five or six times a day at the ballpark, I hear, "Delmon, what were you thinking about?" Sorry, folks, but I can either think about mounting proscenium productions on a thrust stage, or I can get early jumps on fly balls. I can't do both.

The end of our time together comes too soon, my friends. In closing, may I once again state how imperative it is that you contact your elected representatives to exhort them not to cut funding for the arts. I stand ready to "throw my bat" at any official who acts otherwise. (I'll bet you think I'm kidding.)

*Not really. Obviously.

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