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"The Law-Baseball Quiz" debuted in the New York Times on April 4, 1979. Created by law professor Robert M. Cover, it compared baseball players and Supreme Court Justices. Unlike Eddie Gaedel, the midget in baseball's most publicized stunt, the Quiz has delighted and stumped enthusiasts on many occasions since it first appeared.

Oyez® Baseball is an enlarged version of Professor Cover's initial vision. We have simply burnished the metaphor that Professor Cover summoned to describe baseball personalities and justices. Much has changed from the simple newspaper version Cover penned, as quiz enthusiasts will discover.

In producing Oyez® Baseball, we have consulted a number of useful sources compiled by dedicated scholars of the Court and the diamond. We are glad to acknowledge those authors for others who may be inspired to dig deeper into some of the fascinating, entertaining, and often inspiring personal histories that we present here.

On the Supreme Court, greatness or mediocrity derives from a justice's accomplishments or lack thereof. The same is true for ballplayers. The Court vests its nine occupants with awesome responsibility. Some justices, like some players, are blessed with skills that not only generate tremendous personal achievements, but can transform their institutions, and sometimes even American culture. Others are quickly forgettable, while most toil somewhere in between. The qualities that make some justices great and others mediocre are difficult to explain fully and justify to those unversed in the Court's work. But most everyone understands baseball-and baseball may be the best way to reveal greatness or mediocrity. Hence, Oyez® Baseball.

Oyez® Baseball is part of a larger effort to bring the work of the nation's highest court -- in text, audio and images -- to the widest possible audience. The Oyez® Project has been generously supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the M.R. Bauer Foundation, and Northwestern University, and Mayer Brown & Platt. Oyez® Baseball has been made possible by support from Justia - legal resources for everyone.

We are grateful to work with talented colleagues at Mythryn, digital storytellers of the highest caliber.Working from a great prototype created by Northwestern IT consultant Alan Kendall, the masters at Mythryn (Jim Ferolo, Scott Edelstein, Jeff Nemscher and Mike Boccieri) proved time and again that if we could imagine it, they could build it -- on time and on budget. We are pleased to have harnessed their creative talent in ways that make a great use of information technology. We also thank Chris Stangl, whose baseball knowledge was called upon in a pinch hitting role in the late innings of production; he came through with a double off the wall.

This collaboration-and many others it turns out-was originally hatched a decade ago one afternoon in Constitutional Law at Northwestern University. After one class period when Goldman revealed his passion for the Court and the game, and the connections between the two, Manna approached his baseball-minded teacher and suggested: "William Brennan is Ozzie Smith." Goldman scratched his chin and looked up toward the ceiling, not wanting to let such a sweeping claim casually pass by. "Why?" he queried. You'll have to take the quiz to discover the connection, but on that day, at least, the answer that the young student provided persuaded the good professor. Lucky for us both. The rest, as they say, is history.

Batter up!