RECENTLY we read about a poll that revealed 56 percent of...


October 05, 1994

RECENTLY we read about a poll that revealed 56 percent of Americans believe there is baseball in heaven. In fact, David Letterman mentioned the poll during the opening monologue of his late-night "Late Show."

That, as they say on the comedy circuit, reminds us of a joke.

It seems there were these two ex-ballplayers, Jack and Fred, who shared a room at a nursing room. They had pledged to each other that whoever died first would return to Earth and tell the other whether or not there was baseball in heaven.

Then, one day, Jack died. A few weeks after the funeral, Fred was asleep in his room at night. Suddenly he was awakened by a ghostly presence in the room. Fred sat up in bed, rubbed his eyes and said, "Jack? Is that you, old buddy?"

"It's me, all right," answered the ghost of Jack, "and I've come to tell you about baseball in heaven."

"Is there baseball in heaven?" Fred asked anxiously.

"Well," said Jack, "I can answer you with some good news and some bad news. The good news is, yeah, there's baseball in heaven. The greatest baseball I've ever seen. We play on the most beautiful fields before huge, appreciative crowds. And every player is an all-star: Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Jackie Robinson, on and on. It's absolutely fantastic."

"So, heaven has baseball, after all," Fred said, beaming. "That is good news, Jack. But what's the bad news?"

"The bad news," replied Jack, "is that you're pitching tomorrow."

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