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Lookout Landing Podcast 127: Amanda Lane Cumming on her “War, Pandemic, and Seattle baseball in 1918” series

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Our research extraordinaire joins the show to give us the rundown on how her three-part series came together

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0:00-14:15: Amanda Lane Cumming is here to discuss her spectacular “War, Pandemic, and Seattle Baseball in 1918” three-part series. But first, we introduce Amanda and the things that make her baseball heart sing. Listen closely to this part for some juicy cocktail gossip.

14:20-29:20: What inspired Amanda to research a 100-year-old pandemic and the way that affected baseball? This is the part where you learn a library’s worth of information about shipyard baseball teams. As one of America’s shipyard hubs, Seattle was heavily involved in World War I baseball as a morale-building activity. Kate and Amanda also have a thoughtful discussion about history and the things we learn, or don’t learn, from it. It’s also finally time to examine Daddy Warbucks and his fetishization of orphan culture.

29:25-40:55: Which, shall we say, icky organization sponsored one of these offshoot baseball teams? Which current Midwestern MLB team used to have a much different, much bleaker, name? After the big reveal, Amanda shares some of the things she had to cut from the published versions of her stories. Spoiler alert: Babe Ruth is involved!

41:00-48:55: Not necessarily baseball related, but during WWI, the fervor of America’s anti-German stances led to several German items getting a name change. That and more as Amanda explains the process behind her extensive research and the challenges she ran into.

49:00-59:27: Now that Amanda has all this glorious information in her head, and has published so much of it so cohesively, what’s next for the “War, Pandemic, and Seattle Baseball in 1918” series? Finally, some lessons we can all learn from the early 20th century.

Music: “My Brain is Hanging Upside Down” by The Ramones // “In For the Kill” by Shamir

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