Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Throwing Things

Rapper 50 Cent did a terrible job of throwing a ceremonial first pitch for the Mets.  I have terrible accuracy throwing - baseballs, snowballs, darts, anything - but would not do this badly.  Most American girls, putting the wrong foot forward and not used to throwing overhand, would still do better than this.

It causes me to wonder if the baseball culture of America produces better throwers of small objects, so that even below-average Americans are far better than throwers of other nations.  I don't even want to get into spears and atlatls, thanks, though you can if something clever occurs to you.  It intrigues me because of hobbits, known for their ability to throw stones accurately.  Tolkien did not come from a baseball culture. But he did come from a cricket culture, another overhand-throwing sport.  Jamaica, where 50 Cent is from, does have cricket but has never been big in the sport, even on a local, West Indies level.

I wonder if Tollers, though not an especial cricket fan, just naturally thought that boys, and thus hobbits, grow up throwing hard objects and imputed that ability to his fictional race, even though it is an unusual ability historically and geographically.  It carried over into the D&D rules, where halflings continue to get a racial bonus in throwing.

6 comments:

Texan99 said...

We live next to a state park that often hosts Boy Scout jamborees. You never seem to see the boys in a moment of free time without rocks in their hands, throwing them at something. I don't recall that rock-throwing was ever a part of the life of girls when I was growing up. I'm as rotten a thrower as you could ever hope to find.

james said...

I seem to recall people slinging objects at a snake in Liberia with some accuracy. Better than mine, anyway.

bs king said...

I don't think you should count out the power of the David and Goliath story in this. I can't recall ever throwing a rock while mimicking baseball players, but I know we threw rocks at each other growing up to mimic David (never could get the slingshot thing down though).

james said...

I'm told ME shepherds used to get pretty accurate with a sling: sort of a professional necessity.

Jim Cambias said...

I don't know about throwing, but I recall reading a scene in Adam Gopnik's memoir Paris to the Moon in which his American baseball training made him a far better catcher of thrown objects than soccer-trained Frenchmen. So there may be some truth to it.

Sam L. said...

Hey AVI, I think you'll like this cartoon: http://www.gocomics.com/mythtickle/?ref=mythbloghdr1107

There's a reference that should catch your eye.