In an IM conversation earlier this evening, a friend was telling me of a conversation he had had with an acquaintance. The acquaintance could not understand my friend’s love of baseball, and I thought his answers were worth sharing:
It’s the thinking man’s sport, to me. It’s the game within the game. Where a team sport can have one hero. Where great hitting teams can get crushed by great pitching. Where no-name guys with sub-par careers can make history by pitching a no-hitter, and the greats who pitch seven no-hitters.
The game of inches and 90 feet, strange-shaped ballparks with short porches and high walls.
Where fans root for the opposing hurler because he pitched a no-hitter against their favorite team.
Well, except in New York.
Where players come back out for a curtain call.
Batboys, batmen, batwomen.
Where a regular $40 baseball shoots up to $1 million just because some guy hit it for his 500th homer.
Where caps first got their bills bent, and a player can go from goat to hero in the span of an inning.
Where there is no clock and you play until the tie is broken, but the home team still has a chance to win.
Where the managers dress just like the players and aren’t called coaches.
And umpires put on the armor, too.
Where fans are so much a part of the game, they can even affect a play, like robbing a flyout into a home run or turning a triple into a ground-rule double.
Where a guy’s speed turns a triple into an inside the park home run. Where teamwork can create two outs on one pitch, and, on the rare occasion, a triple play.
Where sacrifices are also a statistic.
And it’s the only American past time that another country made into their present time: besiboru … Japanese baseball.
Why do you love it?