'Baseball Is Religion without the Mischief'

Article excerpt

Now one of the halves or hemispheres used to make the baseball can represent Yang, and the other Yin, and their union around the spirit or core creates a life within Life, a force within Forces, the tao within the Tao, imbued with the possibilities of expression in terms of the fundamental laws of Yin and Yang. And like all of creation, no two baseballs are alike, both in their form and in their history, pitchers will discard some because of their feel, others they will scuff to modify their function; some will be historic and occupy Cooperstown, others will be delegated as practice balls; some will be autographed souvenirs, some will be in use at this moment. Baseballs are not capable of awareness, although in a very strange way they are alive since we have created them. They are extensions of ourselves and of our world uniquely held together in the Tao of man against man in the game we call baseball.

--Go, The FAO of Baseball, 1991

True, there are differences between baseball and religion, no way around it. Religions have at least one god. Baseball only has demigods. Religions know the Truth. Baseball only has statistics. Still, nit-picking aside ... they're about the same. Baseball is religion without the mischief.

--Thomas Boswell, Author, How Life Imitates the World Series, Washington Post columnist

Next to religion, baseball has furnished a greater impact on American life than any other institution.

--Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. president, 1874-1964

The diamonds and rituals of baseball create an elegant, trivial enchanted grid on which our suffering shapeless sinful day leans for the momentary grace of order.

--Donald Hall, American poet,

"Baseball and the Meaning of Life," 1985

At a ballgame, as in a place of worship, no one is alone in the crowed.

--John Thorn, The Game for All America, 1988

I believe in the church of baseball. …