Read This Comic: Action Comics #50

In 1942, with America having recently joined the war effort, the country was in need of fresh, new ballplayers to keep up the quality of play. Enter, Clark Kent: Super Scout. 

When the Daily Planet sends mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent to Lauderville, Florida for spring training, (home of the alternate reality Metropolis Ravens), Lois Lane begs Perry White to send her as well. We then get some rampant sexism from Clark Kent who reminds Lois that baseball is for men only.

When their Florida-bound train makes an unexpected stop, Lois, dressed in her sauciest of hats, suggests that she and Clark hop off for a quick bite. Naturally, because women don’t understand train schedules or baseball, the train takes off without them, stranding the two of them at the station. It all works out though, as just at that moment, Clark spies one of those train yard baseball games that America lost out on thanks to communism.  

After watching a yokel of a pitcher, Stan Doborak, strike out batter after batter, nearly driving the opponent’s manager to frenzy, Clark and Lois decide to approach the fellow. 

Ooh, a command and control righty dominating pickup games? Why, he could be the next Stephen Strasburg Kirk Rueter. 

When the boy turns down a lucrative baseball career because of the seeding that must be done on the family farm, Clark Kent transforms into Superman, and, ignoring the murders, assaults, and rapes that must be taking place the world over, decides to help out. For the good of baseball and thereby the world. 

With the boy’s duties taken care of, Clark and Lois speed off to spring training with Stan in tow. When they arrive, Clark immediately goes to the Ravens manager and talks up the pitcher. When the manager says no, Clark Kent gives up because that’s what superheroes do: give up at the first sign of adversity.

With nothing to do, Clark bumbles around the town, stumbling upon the Ravens star player in a street brawl which he writes up for the next day’s paper. While I was willing to suspend my disbelief that an alien would come to Earth and wear tights, it’s even more unlikely that a newspaper reporter would write about the off-field exploits of a star player. Naturally, this does not make Kent a popular fellow in the clubhouse.

To add insult to injury, when Stan arrives to camp and tells the manager that Clark Kent sent him, he’s told to leave and never come back. Stan retaliates by punching Clark in the face, even using his pitching arm. Crash Davis would not be proud

After Lois follows up with a slap of her own, Clark transforms into Superman and speaks in such a way that I’m not sure that Superman is aware that he and Clark are the same person. 

Roaring into superspeed, Superman snatches Stan from his traincar and brings him to a mountaintop. Because that is where one has serious, life changing conversations. It’s also where Superman injects some helpful advice for all the kiddies reading at home:

Superman then sneaks Stan into the clubhouse and steals him a uniform. In case you weren’t aware, there is a little known rule that if you’re wearing a proper Major League uniform during spring training, the manager has to play you. True fact. 

Hoping to embarrass the “rube,” the manager throws him onto the mound against the star hitter, Jack Standish. 

We then get a glimpse of Stan on the mound and realize why no scout in his right mind would sign him: truly frightening mechanics. Not only does he form the dreaded inverted ‘W’, but he also does something with his body that seems to defy the laws of physics. Even Sting would be unable to contort himself into one of these positions during his legendary sex sessions. 

Somehow Stan’s back does not snap in two, and he easily dispatches the rest of the batters and is welcomed onto the roster. We do not, however, see the 37-year-old veteran with a sick child at home get cut. 

By the regular season, Deborak has already become the de facto ace, throwing a two-hitter followed by an 18 strikeout no-hitter which I’m fairly certain would be the greatest game in Major League history. Sadly, all the success goes to Stan’s head.

Fortunately, it turns out that Doborak has been duped by a beautiful young blonde woman, Mabel, who tells him to “leave all the brain work to me!” Do you get the sense that the writers actively hate women? Because I do. 

By sheer luck, Clark and Lois overhear this reveal, Clark is forced investigate. arranging a date with Mabel later that night. When he arrives, a group of armed thugs force Clark into their car and they take him to their safehouse.

After changing clothes in a utility closet, Superman forces the crime boss to reveal his plans. This was originally Pete Rose’s claim when he was caught gambling: 

Flying off, Superman arrives just in time as Mabel is in the midst of her convincing sales pitch. Because Superman really doesn’t care about anyone else, he doesn’t arrest the woman, he just sends them to another town. Yeah, that’ll show them. 

Sure, roughly 25 people lost their lives due to violent crimes during Superman’s excursions into amateur scouting, but Stan Doborak became a Major League star. And in the end, isn’t that worth it? 

  1. oldtimefamilybaseball posted this
blog comments powered by Disqus