Lost Diamonds Part Two
Also, Welcome To Review Starlight
by Caitlin Rogers
Illustrated by Ellen Lindner / Banner Edit by Caitlin Rogers (*)
Lost Diamonds: A History of Gender Rebellion in American Baseball Part Two by Ellen Lindner takes us back to the wind up and pitch of the untold all-gendered version of the history of American baseball. (Duh. The name. I know.) Part One gave us an overview of how all genders participated and helped shape the origins of what we now know to be America’s pastime; as well as acknowledges the Indigenous American players that had their own version of the sport prior to European influences. This time, in part two, we uncover together how this beloved sport went from anyone’s game to the cis white man’s game.
Full warning: If you have not had the chance to grab the MoCCA Awarded (of Excellence in 2022) first volume, allow me to remind you that you definitely need it. It sets the precedent for part two that we will be discussing today and you can grab it off the author’s shop here!
Let’s get past this opening pitch.
We the readers in the stands follow along with an illustrated version of mini Lindner as more facts are presented in her more inclusive press. It’s even charming that as we go over more stories across baseball’s timeline that this mini Lindner holds a newspaper. We travel to many cities and countries this time, in these blue nostalgic panels that are illustrated in an engaging way through how bigger– I mean, author & illustrator Lindner imagines history; both the photographed and the unphotographed.
The writing style is well balanced between reading imagined dialogue between historical figures and narrator, mini Lindner. What is also appreciable about how information is presented is that you are given annotations to follow and an editor's note (in the beginning) for clarifications as we go through these decades. The tone is animated as we discuss both stimulating advances for the progress of AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) players and the haunting halts we face as well. But by no means does it mean it is the end of the game, just that inning.
I also appreciate artistically the choice of blue washed tones that carry throughout this series. It alludes to this brilliant illustrated symbolic meaning of ‘washed away to the tides of time’. I can also appreciate choosing blue and not brown as when retelling American history. When pertaining to Black and Brown history, this doesn’t make the topic “too old to talk about anymore, boring” or even worse, “no longer relevant”. It is a pattern frequently done to Black and Brown American history that feeds into the narrative “this was so long ago, it doesn’t need to be discussed.” But instead makes a refreshing visual for what may be new-to-you information.
By discussing the intentionally left out diamonds, we say the quiet part out loud. It’s not that baseball was inherently the white man’s sport; he made sure it stayed that way, by not documenting the games won by AFAB players, creating blockades for black players to remain excluded, traveling far distances to use other brown players as a cash grab, grotesquely neglectful management of AFAB players, and avoiding giving props where props are due in white dominated news presses. (And MANY other ways highlighted in this zine. But this is a final thought section.) Handled with care, curiosity, and charisma, Lost Diamonds Part Two brings you up into the mid 20th century and dusts off the bases for a far clearer view of America's Pastime. Bigger Lindner researches then illustrates the hard to say and important to say in this zine gem. And we are looking forward to part three in the coming years.
These illustrations were posted to this review with permission from the copyright owner. WildStar Press does not own the rights to these illustrations. Contact the copyright holder for more details.
✨ Hello Starlight ✨
This is the first time I've spoken to any of you directly in this way. But I'm excited to slowly give you new things to come to WildStar; this corner here is Review Starlight. We're excited to give comics and other kinds of stories a place in our own little universe we're trying to create. As always it is encouraged that Black, POC, LGBTQIA+, and Indigenous creators step to the front of the line. I can't wait to read and see what you make; and I can't wait for WildStar to be the reason you got started. Check out the main newsletter for updates on submissions opening and what ever other secrets creep in there. 👀
It's only goodbye for now, but until another day. I believe in you; your cleverness and your light.