Friday, July 28, 2006

Baseball: "In the Beginning was a Civil War hero..."

I'm currently devouring Bully For Brontosaurus, by Stephen Jay Gould. Anybody who loved natural history, science, baseball, and the exercise of the written language as much as he does is okay in my book, even if he was a Pinko socialist at heart.

In the essay "The Creation Myths of Cooperstown", he discusses baseball's true origins vis a vis the myth of Doubleday and Cooperstown presented by Albert Spalding, parenthetically comparing them to the current debates on evolution and abortion. Regardless of one's views on the topics referred to, the essay is worth the read if only for gems like the following:
"The silliest and most tendentious of baseball writing tries to wrest profundity from the spectacle of grown men hitting a ball with a stick by suggesting linkages between the sport and deep issues of morality, parenthood, history, lost innocence, gentleness, and so on, seemingly ad infinitum. (The effort reeks of silliness because baseball is profound all by itself and needs no excuses; people who don't know this are not fans and are therefore unreachable anyway.)"


Amen. ;)

6 comments:

aughtSix said...

--dons asbesteos suit--

You know, baseball would be better if it were football. ;)

Tam said...

Lord, please heal him, for he is afflicted in the taste buds.

;)

Todd said...

Never better....never. But maybe almost equal to Southern College Football. Well, back when Al Ciraldo was calling the games.

BobG said...

Enjoyed playing baseball, but watching it puts me to sleep.

Les Jones said...

That was one of Gould's best essays, and that's saying something.

George said...

Hey Les;

Did Gould have any bad essays?

I do think he should be required reading ... along with Heinlein, of course.