Val Hitherto

From Blaseball Wiki

Val Hitherto is a lineup player for the Tokyo Lift, and has been with the team since the Season 10 elections.

Official League Records

Hitherto joined the ILB as a pitcher for the Tokyo Lift during the Season 10 elections after the Ascension of the Baltimore Crabs.

On Season 13, Day 73, Hitherto entered Party Time with the Lift. During the remainder of the Season, Hitherto partied 2 times, resulting in a combined 8.9 -> 11.6 stat increase.

During the Season 14 elections, Hitherto retreated to the Lift's Shadows in exchange for Cudi Di Batterino as a result of the Lift's Foreshadow will, resulting in a combined 11.6 -> 12.2 stat increase.

On Season 24, Day 79, Hitherto joined the Lift's lineup in exchange for Kit Honey due to Night, resulting in a combined 12.2 -> 14.0 stat increase.

COMMUNITY REPORTS
The remainder of this article contains lore created collaboratively by the Blaseball community.

Box of Val Hitherto Files

Dust billows as the file box lands on the table. While many archives in the Interdimensional Rumor Mill are unified in some way, this... definitely isn’t one of them. The accompanying Rumor Registry explains all of the contents... wherever it is... but for now you grab the folder labelled IF-31.344 and start reading...

Personal information

Background

When pressed for biographical details the player known as Val Hitherto will offer only that he "moved around a lot as a kid". This may or may not be true. His Lift teammates, however, know that Hitherto is a time-traveller from the 2Xth Century, where he worked (works, will work) in the intersection between art history and quantum physics as an Art Rescuer.

In the Authenticity Economy of 2XXX museum curation is a cutthroat business. The biggest players will pay huge sums to specialists who can cast themselves back through time with extreme precision, scooping up long-lost cultural artefacts in the last milliseconds before they would otherwise have been destroyed by fire, military action or natural disaster. It remains a controversial practice, but the major museums present it as "proactive conservation" and charge big money to view these works not seen in centuries.

Hitherto made his name, whatever that will be at the time, by recovering three Titians and a Velasquez previously regarded as lost in the Alcázar de Madrid fire of 1734. By 2XXX he was (is, will be) something of a celebrity with his dashing, devil-may-care persona, playboy lifestyle and a reputation for delivering the goods against impossible odds. This reputation was tarnished when it came to light that he had developed a technique for rescuing a work, then rescuing it again a few milliseconds earlier; for some years he had been delivering one original to the museum funding the Rescue but keeping another for his own private appreciation.

It was difficult to prove that any crime had been committed, since Hitherto had on every occasion adhered to the letter of the contract, but his actions sparked an international scandal. In a society based on scarcity and exclusivity, the powerful museums' claim to sole ownership of any given artwork was no longer guaranteed. Worse was to come when Hitherto's double-dip algorithm was leaked and widely shared. Within days the market was flooded first with lost Titians, then with countless identical examples of extant Monets, van Dycks and Picassos, fatally undermining the entire cultural-economic system.

A disgraced Val Hitherto fled to Now to evade the clutches of Prado-Guggenheim Corp, the HermitageMet Consortium and a legion of private investors whose net worth had collapsed overnight, their hitherto valuable paintings now legally indistinguishable from those on tens of thousands of walls worldwide.

With the Tokyo Lift

Our present time period is regarded as a safe harbour for temporal fugitives because it is so poorly understood by future historians. Academics in 2XXX describe a fundamental breakdown in consensual reality which prevents the objective and precise evidence-gathering possible in the centuries before and after. It is an ideal time for Hitherto to live in anonymity, or would be if he could resist the limelight.

Instead he saw the nebulous realities of Blaseball as providing a stage for fame in the Now while still being vague and unpindownable to future historians, enemies and law enforcement. It is not clear whether he first approached the Tokyo Lift with a view to playing for them or simply to pick the brains of team captain and advanced mathematician Stijn Strongbody. Hitherto was able to escape the Future with some, not all, of his time-travel technology; this is much less reliable than his full rig, and he seems to depend on Strongbody's help and indulgence for the extremely complicated calculations required to use it. What Strongbody expects in return has not been disclosed.

Hitherto is frequently late to the pitcher's mound. Unlike teammate Grollis Zephyr this is not due to executive dysfunction, but to his propensity for being accidentally-on-purpose recruited into the Prussian Hussars during the second Schleswig War. During one away game against the Breckenridge Jazz Hands spectators were puzzled when Hitherto appeared to have grown a full beard between the fourth and fifth innings. He explained it as "just a condition I have, it's the altitude". Lift players speculate that Strongbody has some mechanism to immediately recall Hitherto from his time-travels, based on the occasional sight of him pitching in a cardinal's robes or a Regency ballgown and muttering darkly that he "was in the middle of a thing".

Personal life

Hitherto has volunteered little information about his private life in 2XXX, beyond that he is single there and "likes beautiful things". Among Tokyo Lift teammates he is particularly close to fellow pitchers Grollis Zephyr and Gerund Pantheocide. Despite efforts to cover his trail, Hitherto still suspects that he lives on borrowed time; he maintains his roguish swagger at least in part as a way of encouraging friends to enjoy living in the moment. He concedes that he does have a greater-than-average choice of moments to live in.

Off the field, Hitherto's fashion sense is eclectic. He has often been pictured wearing a vintage cavalry jacket over a Zephyr-designed t-shirt, accessorised by a pocketwatch-styled monocle which may be part of his time-travelling apparatus. He continues to collect, but mostly for adventure rather than profit, and with an emphasis on European military uniforms of the 18th and 19th centuries. On at least three occasions he has posed as an officer in the Russian Imperial Army in an attempt to score some of those sick epaulettes.


Fan Works