There is perhaps no finer writer on the subject of baseball than sportswriter Thomas Boswell. In his brilliant book “How Life Imitates the World Series” Boswell does an admirable job of defining the attractiveness of the game. It’s a priceless description.
Baseball constitutes a small, but fundamental, province of the American mind, a backwater of our spirit to which we hie when we want a sense of tradition appetites. In our daily cacophony, the national “pastime” is one of those notes we periodically strike in hopes of hearing a hint of middle C….
Baseball’s greatest blessing and the source of its richness: you play it every day. Consequently, baseball has no “game face” – no mood of real or feigned mortal crisis that must be put on like a protective psychological mask before leaping into the fray….
That sense of moderation – of both physical and emotional temperance in all the familiar acts of the game – is almost a philosophical precept. Given a choice between raw effort and controlled skill, the latter will usually win in baseball. As a result, the sport cultivates a certain balance temperament, encourages a stable cast of mind. The sense of elemental sanity and order that we sometimes feel around baseball is not entirely a romantic wish; the game has, at its core, a distinct therapeutic quality….
For those who like their truth with capital letters, baseball, as a steady diet, probably will not suffice. The game is simply one of our many human kaleidoscopes. Shake it lightly each day and the colours, configurations, and symbols seem totally changed. The picture, like our sense of the game and the people in it, is never the same two days running. Each time we return to the game and its folk we see a different scene, a different mood, a different trait of character ir twist of personality. What does baseball have to offer? Just a bit of everything, a vast serendipity.
This description is strung through Boswell’s opening chapter entitled, “This Ain’t a Football Game. We Do This Every Day.” For those that love the ball diamond, this is a must read-book.
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