Seven times when William Shakespeare was totally talking about baseball
Today is (kind of) William Shakespeare's birthday! According to historical record, the Bard was baptized on April 26, 1564. The custom of the day was to baptize newborns three days following their birth, so April 23 is as close of an approximation as we can get for Bill's actual DOB.
In honor of this important day (the man invented the word "puking", after all), we thought we'd delve into the Canon and show how, despite living his life some 300 years before baseball was invented, Shakespeare truly understood the American Pastime.
Rosalind -- As You Like It -- Act V, Scene ii
While this conversation between heroine Rosalind and her love-interest Orlando is seemingly about his brother's relationship with Celia (Rosalind's cousin who is disguised as her sister -- Shakespeare is confusing), it's also clearly about Matt Harvey and Freddie Freeman , for clubs cannot part them either:
Titus -- Titus Andronicus -- Act III, Scene i
Ah, yes -- Titus (who's had a pretty rough day) is seen here speaking to any and all hitters who manage to escape the AL Central's defending champs:
Edmund -- King Lear -- Act V, Scene iii
Edmund speaks these lines just before going into battle with his brother Edgar. Oh, right, I get it:
Speed and Valentine -- Two Gentlemen of Verona -- Act II, Scene i
Spoiler alert: it's not his, because people traditionally don't own three gloves. But Speed and Valentine are goofballs and don't realize this until later in the scene.
Interestingly, baseball players regularly require the use of three gloves in a game -- two for batting and one for fielding. Thus, a modern production could ground this bit of clownish nonsense in some reality with the right casting choices. Might I humbly suggest fellow goofballs Juan Uribe and Hyun-Jin Ryu ?
Hamlet -- Hamlet -- Act I, Scene iv
The "it" Horatio is referring to is the ghost of Hamlet's father. Heavy stuff. Thus, it's interesting that Hamlet's first thought is to seek out the defense of Angels. That impulse, however, makes more sense once you've viewed these GIFs:
Norfolk -- Henry VIII -- Act II, Scene ii
Is that a line from Henry VIII, or is it a scouting report about Clayton Kershaw? I'm not saying Shakespeare travelled through time to warn the NL West about the reigning Cy Young Award winner, but I'm also not not saying that.
Exeter -- Henry VI Part 1 -- Act V, Scene i
Member of the 500 home run club, two-time World Series Champion with the Cardinals, three-time National League MVP -- he may not be a Cardinal anymore, but Henry V's prophecy probably has something to do with this guy:
Have your own favorite line from Shakespeare that he clearly meant for baseball? Leave it for us in the comments.