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22 ways the Broadway show ‘Newsies’ is exactly the same as baseball

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Yes, this is really a post.

USA-'NEWSIES' Opening Night Curtain Call Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images

As we’ve established already, this baseball offseason is a real snooze. The hot stove is more frozen than a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at the North Pole. Things picked up a little bit near the end of last week with the Lorenzo Cain signing and Christian Yelich trade. But we’re back to the same nothingness that we’ve become accustomed to over the past few months.

Because of that, we’ve been a little hard up for news. You might have noticed; you might not have. Until the trades and signings pick back up, we’re left to our own devices on what to write about — which is your fair warning that this is another wacky post from yours truly.

If you’re not familiar with the movie or Broadway musical Newsies, first of all what have you been doing your whole life? The former is a campy mess that stars an 18-year old Christian Bale, and the latter is a Tony-winning production that smooths out most of the issues its predecessor had, evolving into the best version of a story about singing newsboys possible. So I’d recommend both if you haven’t seen them and are at all interested in rascally heroes singing and fighting the man.

For this post, in which I compare the uplifting story of Newsies (based on the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899) with the sport of baseball, I used the musical version because that’s what is available on Netflix right now. If you’d like to read the post in the same environment it was written, you just need to put “Santa Fe” and “The World Will Know” on a loop for the next hour of your life. (I swear I have friends, y’all.)

With allllll of that said, here are all the ways that Newsies and baseball are definitely the same thing.

  1. The main conflict revolves around a bunch of young guys who want a bigger piece of the pie, but owners who are already richer than god refuse to give it to them. So they strike! It mostly works, but you can tell the labor peace won’t last for more than a few years, max.
  2. Everyone wants to go somewhere where the grass is greener even though there’s no evidence that moving will actually improve things — like how baseball is obsessed with expansion, and Jack can’t stop thinking about Santa Fe.
  3. One main character has a bad leg, so can’t do his job well. But the rest of the group likes him well enough, so they let him hang around even when he’s not contributing in any way. In Newsies, that’s Crutchie. In baseball that was Derek Jeter.
  4. The pants, duh.
  5. (Most of) the butts in the pants, duh.
  6. There is a line in the song “Carrying the Banner” that asserts “Long as suckers don’t mind payin’, just to get bad news” they’ll be able to make money, which is absolutely a direct description of Mariners, A’s, and Phillies fans.
  7. There’s dancing that is sometimes embarrassing and sometimes not.
  8. In Newsies, a small child is told that the younger he is the more papers he’ll sell, so lie about it. Nothing like that has ever happened in the sport of baseball, nope.
  9. In both baseball and Newsies, the rich owners figure out that they don’t have to change the entire system to make more money. They just have to find a way to spend a little less across the board which will get them a huge payday. In the case of newspaper owners, that means charging their sales boys more for the same amount of papers in the morning, and in baseball that’s uh...a whole lot of stuff.
  10. Both have people named Jack Kelly involved.
  11. Someone in each world has a secret painting talent that’s actually pretty good.
  12. All of the powerful newspaper owners (Hearst, Pulitzer, etc.) collude to raise prices at the same time so the newsies have nowhere to turn. Again, ring a bell for baseball? Just a little? Yeah. Exactly.
  13. The protagonists realize they need a union (or a stronger union) to get fair treatment and a fair work environment.
  14. Joseph Pulitzer, the main villain of Newsies, was owner of the New York World. There’s an ongoing myth that the New York World is why the World Series has that name despite it not involving the entire world. Still a fun connection.
  15. At one point in Newsies, Jack asks people to go to Brooklyn during the strike to convince that borough’s newsies to participate. No one wants to do it. Baseball didn’t want to be a part of Brooklyn either.
  16. Everyone relies way more on the press and leaks to sources than they’d care to admit, but it usually gets the job done.
  17. The journalist character has severe imposter syndrome about her talents. Not saying that sentiment definitely hits close to home for many baseball reporters, but who are we kidding?
  18. During one pivotal moment for a group of protagonists, there is a huge fight that delays their ultimate victory (the Newsies getting their butts beat while striking) but strengthens their character and informs their eventual win at the end. Later on, the villains think they have the heroes in a corner (newspaper owners assuming the newsies have no way to print a paper), but they blow it.
  19. At times, the villain is unrealistically villainous because of money. In Newsies that’s obviously Pulitzer, and in baseball it’s also pretty obvious.
  20. The main character eventually puts out his own paper to control the story, and it’s not half bad most of the time!
  21. They both randomly involve Teddy Roosevelt for a few minutes.
  22. At one point, Newsies mentions Roosevelt wants to outlaw football because it’s too violent. Baseball would definitely be fine with someone outlawing football.

So there you have it: Newsies and baseball are exactly the same thing. You’re welcome for this entirely unnecessary comparison that you are absolutely happy that you spent time reading.