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One common expression in the English language, particularly on this side of the Atlantic, is to refer to unexpected or crazy ideas as coming “out of left field.” The expression originated from baseball, specifically after Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, was built in 1914. In what is today the left field of the stadium, there used to be what was then called a mental asylum. So when something crazy or unforeseen happened it was said to be “out of the left field.”

Some of the greatest ideas in the history of civilization came “out of the left field.” Not only were they truly revolutionary, but when initially proposed were considered crazy and simply ignored. Many of these ideas originated in academia, known for its conservatism and rigidity when dealing with people who defy conventional wisdom. Examples abound.


This work was originally published in The Edwardsville Intelligencer.



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