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God Bless Peanuts and Cracker Jack

The Deep, Mystifying, Surreal Meaning of Baseball

WHAT KEEPS THE GRAND GAME GREAT? EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN ...

ByJoe Posnanski

P. 50

34 SOCCER

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

In a final for the ages, the U.S. fell to a Japan team with an awe-inspiring drive to win

By Grant Wahl

42 SWIMMING

RYAN LOCHTE

This laid-back surfer dude is ready to tear up the pool at the World Championships

By Kelli Anderson

46 THE NBA

DEREK FISHER

The Lakers' point guard might be the key to saving the 2011--12 season

By Ian Thomsen

Departments

4 Leading Off

10 Letters

12 Scorecard

The mystifying jargon of injury reports

18 Just My Type

Paul Konerko on Ozzie and Twitter

By Dan Patrick

21 Faces in the Crowd

24 Inside ...

• Golf

Darren Clarke's Open

• Baseball

The Rangers' run

• The NFL

Behind the labor deal

• College Basketball

Overseas advantage

64 Point After

One man's Negro leagues crusade

By Phil Taylor

ON THE COVER Photograph by Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS

PHOTO

CHUCK SOLOMON (BALL)

FOUR PHOTOS