April 16, 2006

WHAT ELSE IS COLLEGE GOOD FOR?:

Re-creating a classic (Jeff Passan, 4/15/06, Yahoo! Sports)

In his four years at the University of Virginia, [Conor] Lastowka did all sorts of nothing, the most benign of which was obsessing over the classic Mets comeback and Red Sox heartbreak. Beyond that, Lastowka argued with his friends that automobiles should have U-turn signals. He drew a comic for the student newspaper that was an ode to a deceased friend who, actually, was alive. He started National High Five Day, a heal-the-world movement that encourages strangers to slap hands.

Mostly, though, Lastowka played RBI Baseball. For the uninitiated, RBI Baseball is a video game that first appeared on the original Nintendo in 1988. It took each of the four playoff teams from the 1986 and '87 seasons, plus an All-Star team for each league. The players looked all the same: short, round and white. When Lastowka's apartment got robbed on back-to-back days in his senior year, he rued most that the thief stole his Nintendo and RBI cartridge.

Through a video-game emulator on his computer, Lastowka had rekindled his love for RBI, and he had plenty of time. Six months ago, he quit his job as a database manager. He spent his days lazing on the San Diego beach for a few months, living off the money he had saved. The cash was dwindling quickly when Lastowka saw an ad for a YouTube-sponsored contest that would pay $25,000 for the best video satirizing pop culture.

Of all the things to lampoon, Game 6 was an easy target. And by using RBI to replay, pitch for pitch, the fateful 10th inning that ends with a Mookie Wilson grounder slipping through Buckner's legs, Lastowka had his vehicle to do it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 16, 2006 11:12 AM
Comments

I just watched the re-creation and it is fantastic, the only flaw is that it can't accurately portray the nature of Buckner's screwup. Instead of the ball going through his feet, he gets beaned by the ball and stands around in a daze while Ray Knight comes home.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 18, 2006 1:37 AM
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