A little red, white, and blue folded into the NATIONALPASTIME to celebrate the nation's birthday. I like all three cities, but I can't help but note that one of them isn't actually in the good ol' U. S. of A. In fact, there's kind of a "Melting Pot" vibe to the whole puzzle, what with ECLAT, ENERO, RAGU, GREEK, OLE, PEDRO, ARP, and PERES. Kind of an international OLIO, if you will. And should we throw in EXPOS (31D: Montreal nine, once)? And EDEN?
There are quite a few baseball-related entries in the fill, like SLIDE, MINOR (27D: ____ leagues), the aforementioned PEDRO, who played for the EXPOS, EJECTED, LOFT(ed one into the outfield), TEES (up on one) ... hmmm ... it seemed like more while I was solving. And I won't even mention 65A, as I take it as a direct assault on all BOSTON REDSOX fans. Or at least those "of a certain age." I held my little red Radio Shack transistor all the way around my route as I delivered the Evening Gazette, only to hear Yaz pop out to end it. GROAN. Why, even in my "post-sports" life, do I still wish things had gone differently back then?
Love CAUSTIC, UPTAKE, ERMINE, ECLAT, and GOODEGG. That's some good bonus material on a Tuesday. And my last square was the E of ISSARAE. The name is completely unknown to me, but I finally figured out EARL (53D: Title below marquess). And you know what? I think I'd take the demotion to get the better title.
Decent Tuesday. Will there be fireworks tomorrow? Stay tuned!
p.s. Another debut puzzle today! Congratulations, Mr. Adams.