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Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

‘Our Town’ Cast Party Going Off The Rails

PEEKSKILL, NY—Describing a wild scene in which performers and stagehands were loudly conversing, laughing, and occasionally breaking back into their characters from the play, sources confirmed Sunday night that the cast party for the local production of Our Town is currently going off the rails.

Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.
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Nostalgia Prompts Return Of Negro Baseball Leagues

NEW YORK—Influenced by the high demand for Negro League memorabilia, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced Monday that, for the 2004 season, the national pastime will return to its storied, segregated past.

Atlanta Black Crackers owner Tom Forst joins his player Ken Griffey Jr. at a press conference.

"This is a historic day for baseball players and fans alike," Selig told an excited crowd of black reporters and players gathered around a radio in the lobby of his Park Avenue headquarters. "Today, we honor the memory of such great black players as Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard, and Cool Papa Bell by giving the Negro Leagues a place in American sports once again."

Selig cited the abundance of Negro League documentaries, books, web sites, and museums as proof of the public's interest in revitalizing segregated baseball.

"Baseball is all about the fans," Selig said. "And the fans are all about paying big money for caps and T-shirts with the cool old Birmingham Black Barons logo on them. They love buying mahogany-framed prints of those neat black-and-white Kansas City Monarchs team photos, too."

The first successful Negro League was formed in 1920, and the leagues survived in some form until the early 1950s. When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, black talent began to migrate to the major leagues.

"Some of the greatest baseball players in history were in the Negro Leagues," Selig said. "Even so, most of them were relative unknowns in their day. Well, now we have the advantage of working in reverse. By taking talented, pre-established All-Stars like Kenny Lofton, Sammy Sosa, and Gary Sheffield out of the Major Leagues, we make instant Negro League superstars."

Selig said the new Black National League and Black American League seasons will be played at the same time as those of regular, white Major League Baseball.

"I will personally ensure that the leagues for whites and blacks are equal in every way," Selig said. "As for the fans, they'll be getting twice as many games this summer. And we'll get surviving Negro League players, like former Philadelphia Stars pitcher Harold Gould, to throw out the first ball. Who would object to that?"

Selig said the Negro League games will not be geared toward an all-black audience.

"Only about 6 percent of fans attending Major League Baseball games last year were black," Selig said. "The demographic we're aiming for comprises diehard baseball fans and Negro-league memorabilia collectors, regardless of race or creed."

Selig explained that this demographic is composed predominantly of Caucasian men, and that Nielsen data indicates that the average baseball fan is 51 years old.

So far, baseball fans, particularly those residing in the Deep South, have embraced Selig's decision.

"This is going to be great," said Darryl Dupey, 54, of Birmingham, AL. "Dad always talked about seeing the Birmingham Black Barons face down teams like the Atlanta Black Crackers and the Chicago American Giants, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd get to see it myself. It's like a dream come true."

"This is a treasured piece of American history all over again," said Omar Whittlefield, owner of the new Chicago Black Stockings franchise. "During the first half of the 20th century, the color line kept black players from getting the recognition they deserved. Well, this time around, the players are going to be huge. I don't sell caps if they ain't!"

Unfortunately, some players have resisted joining the new league.

"Hell, no," said five-time All-Star Albert Belle, who was told to report for practice with the Tampa Bay Afro-Marlins next Wednesday. "Didn't we already go through this shit? No way I'm gonna be anyone's sepia-toned memory."

Barry Bonds, recently dismissed from the newly all-white San Francisco Giants, said he is unsure what he'll do.

"At this point, I don't know," Bonds said. "If I get a chance to play with Sheffield and a bunch of other great players on the Black Yankees, I have to admit that'd sorta be a dream come true. On the other hand, maybe it'd be time to retire."

While he acknowledged that his plan has its critics, Selig said the "shadow league" will revitalize baseball.

"A new generation will get to see the tragic majesty of Negro League play," Selig said. "Once again, baseball fans will be able to argue over whether or not a black player could make it in the majors, even if the player in question was already there. And maybe, just maybe, the brave Jackie Robinson of a new generation will dare to defy my color line and become a symbol of triumph. That'd really sell tickets."

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Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

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