Thorn: Why baseball: An American Eden of the mind

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on October 19, 2018:

Fundamentally, baseball is what America is not, but has longed or imagined itself to be. It is the missing piece of the puzzle, the part that makes us whole … a fit for a fractured society. Baseball is about connecting; America is about breaking apart. America, independent and separate, is a lonely nation in which culture, class, ideology, and creed fail to unite us; baseball is the tie that binds. While the imperative for Americans has always been to forge ahead, in search of the new, baseball has always been about the past. In this land of opportunity, a man must venture forth to make his own way. Baseball is about coming home.

Yet more than anything else, America is about hope and renewal. And gloriously, so is baseball, pulsing with the mystery of the seasons and of life itself.

This great game opens a portal onto our past, both real and imagined, comforting us with intimations of immortality and primordial bliss. But it also holds up a mirror, showing us as we are. And sometimes baseball even serves as a beacon, revealing a path through the wilderness.

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Originally published: October 19, 2018. Last Updated: October 19, 2018.