Out in the Field
Some Thoughts on Baseball
I went to a baseball game the other day, my first in a few years. Back in high school I went to a lot of Twins games when the team was good and the Metrodome was bad. When I moved to New York I’d go to the old Stadium early each season, when bleacher seats cost $8 and you could sit anywhere in right field.
The first thing I notice any time I’m at a game is the green, the reassuring pastoral setting. This is why AstroTurf is bad and possibly evil—give us the grass, the way God intended! The other is the geometry, the ingenious measurements of baseball, 90’ and the rest, which are so correct and, if you love the sport, reassuring.
Baseball’s down time makes it feel more like a game than other sports. The players play catch between innings and casually talk to one another. That these incidental habits endure is wonderful to me. Baseball recalls our childhood even though the sport, at its highest levels, cultivates a unique pain that belongs to adults. Just ask Bill Buckner.