Our Periodic Peanuts in the News Roundup

above: Willie Mays. Lee Mendelson, and Charlie Brown

How else can we start this roundup of recent Peanuts in the news than with the passing of the great Willie Mays. Above is an image from Jeanne Schulz’s Blog of twelve years ago wherein Lee Mendelson explains the connection between himself, Charles Schulz and Willie Mays.

An Aside: I was born and raised in The Big Valley due east of San Francisco and Candlestick Park. So it is no surprise that in my pre-teen years I was a fan of slugger McCovey, high kicking Marichal, the Alou Brothers, Davenport, Perry, Cepada, even Coach Dark, and the great Willie Mays. (It just seems so natural to preface the name with “the great.”) Back then we would occasionally travel across The Bay to watch our favorites play. So while my current sports pedigree is wanting, my love for The Great Man has never wavered.

By the way, the two and a half week spelling bee arc begins here.


Like a wave of fresh air at the beach, “Cowabunga, Peanuts” ? an exhibition of surfing and skateboarding-themed comic strips and related artifacts ? has brought a carefree sense of cheery summertime fun to the downstairs gallery at the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa.

Even for a museum inspired by a comic strip in which dogs can write novels and trees eat kites, the current show feels particularly lighthearted and sunny. And according to Benjamin Clark, curator of the Schulz museum, that is entirely intentional.

The Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa has an ocean exhibit of Peanuts strips and sundry other Peanuts items.

Though primarily focused on surfing and sandcastles, beaches and beach balls, the Santa Rosa exhibit also incorporates some of the strips in which skateboarding played a key part.

David Templeton at The Argus-Courier reviews the exhibit in detail.


Speaking of the Museum:

photo: Erik Castro

In its 22-year history, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center has never had 100,000 visitors within a single year.

That all changed Saturday, when Sacramento resident Jamie Winter walked through the doors and became the 100,000th person this fiscal year…

Jeremy Hay and Colin Atagi for The Press Democrat report on The Museum’s continuing and growing popularity.


Antiques and The Arts Weekly reports on recent Helmuth Stone auction.

Earning the top spot in the sale was an original ink on paper Peanuts illustration by Charles M. Schulz (American, 1922-2000). Dated January 29, 1989, the winter comic strip featured Snoopy and Lucy ice skating on a pond, then Snoopy returning home to be with Charlie Brown and Sally. The illustration, which was housed behind glass in a 21¼-by-28¾-inch frame…

… the Peanuts strip was claimed, within estimate, by a Connecticut collector for $27,300…


In his anecdotal story from Everyman: Happiness is a Warm Puppy, the frustration of Charles Schulz’ secretary’s son speaks to the fact that Charlie Brown, as a character, was regularly frustrated and stymied. Most often, he had little recourse to do anything about it beyond a deadpan quip in the final panel of that day’s Peanuts strip. Considering how widely familiar feelings of frustration and defeat are for many readers, this quickly made Charlie Brown one of the most relatable characters in 20th century popular culture, in any medium.

Ambrose Tardive at Screen Rant explains the purpose of Charlie Brown in the Peanuts hierarchy.


August 18, 1963 © Peanuts Worldwide

4 thoughts on “Our Periodic Peanuts in the News Roundup

  1. I probably would have loved baseball had there never been a Willie Mays but he sure made it a lot easier. Early on, I picked the Giants as “my” team mainly because my middle brother was a Dodgers fan. I grew up on the Washington coast, 800 miles from San Francisco but I could pick up Giant night games on my little radio. it was so frustrating to be a fan back then because they had very good teams but usually ended up in second or third place. ’62 was the magical year where they caught the Dodgers on the last day of the season. The Giants had trailed by four games with seven to go but the Dodgers lost six of those games and the Giants won five to tie. in the season’s final series, the Dodgers were swept at home by the Cards, losing the first game in extras and then getting shut out the final two. The Giants had to play a Saturday twin-bill with the Colt .45s after a Friday rainout and split the two games. In the last game of the regular season, Mays hit a game-winning eighth inning homerun (#47) as the Giants won 2-1. In the first game of the three-game playoff, Mays hit a first-inning homerun off Sandy Koufax and the Giants rolled to an easy 8-0 win as Mays later added #49. In game 2, the Giants blew a 5-0 sixth inning lead when the Dodgers ended a 33-inning (!) scoreless streak by scoring seven runs and then the winning run in the bottom of the ninth in an 8-7 game. In game 165, the Dodgers held a 4-2 lead into the top of the 9th but the Giants scored four on a bunch of walks and a couple of singles. In the World Series against the mighty Yankees, the teams split the first six ames. In the deciding seventh game, the Yankees lead 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, the Giants had runners on second and third with Willie McCovey at bat. McCovey hit a line drive but it was caught by Bobby Richardson to end the game. On December 22, 1962, Schulz had a strip where Charlie Brown and Linus are sitting on a street curb, looking disconsolate, heads in their hands, for three panels. Finally, Charlie Brown rises and shouts to the sky, “Why couldn’t McCovey have hit that ball three feet higher!” He had a similar strip involving the same two again lamenting the misfortunes the Baseball Gods had wrought on their beloved Jints.

    1. After Dec. 22, 1962, Schulz actually had TWO nearly identical strips over the next few months. In the first, Charlie shouts “Why couldn’t McCovey have hit the ball TWO feet higher?” In the last he shouts “Why couldn’t McCovey have hit the ball ONE foot higher?”

      1. The two-feet strip was from 1/28/1963, not sure about the other one. Schulz was a big S.F. Giant fan having moved to the Bay area about the same time the Giants did. There was a Sunday strip a few years later where Snoopy was in the Giant’s locker room. I don’t remember the gag but he listed several Giant players.

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