Peanuts: Charlie Brown, His Friends, and Baseball (Vol. 4, 1954)
by Paul Semendinger
I always enjoyed Charles Schulz’s famous Peanuts comic strips. Like so many people, those characters were a big part of my childhood.
A number of years ago, a collection of books (The Complete Peanuts) was produced that chronicle the complete and entire collection of every single Peanuts comic strip. With every single strip available, I decided to set about reading the entire collection. (I just completed reading Volume 4 which cover 1957 and 1958.) It is fascinating seeing how the strip and the characters developed over time.
I thought it would be fun to chronicle here the history of how Charles Schulz used baseball in the Peanuts strips.
I hope you enjoy this historical look back at Charlie Brown and his friends and the wonderful game of baseball…
Each comic strip comes from the wonderful site: Peanuts Wiki..
THE 1954 “SEASON”
I love how the 1954 “season” begins. It starts as many of our childhood did, with the kids in the neighborhood just wanting to play ball. With spring came baseball and friends.
What also came was positivity – even for Charlie Brown!
And anyone whose played the came can probably relate to this one as well.
It certainly isn’t easy being a catcher or a pitcher…
One of the brilliant facets of the Peanuts series was the fact that Charles Schulz remembered what it was like to be a child and how important it was to play ball. We just couldn’t keep asking our parents to buy us new baseballs (or Wiffle Balls). The only answer was tape.
I love spring.
I love baseball.
I don’t love rain if it interferes with baseball.
Like Charlie Brown, i always hold out hope that the game can be played.
Schulz also knew that the best player on the sandlot or in the backyard was often a girl…
…but that didn’t mean that they were always treated fairly.
Sometimes, baseball lends itself to great humor.
Lucy was always one to get under Charlie Brown’s skin. Sometimes she played great. Other times… not so much.
In the days before analytics…
I always root for Charlie Brown.
Sometimes even Charlie Brown finds success on the ballfield.
Snoopy, the umpire, adds a classic touch.
Lucy being Lucy…
The 1954 season ended with the following two baseball themed panels, one revising a theme from earlier in the season, the other conjuring up ol’ Wee Willie Keeler.
ON DECK – The 1955 Peanuts Season!
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