Monday, April 20, 2009

A baseball brief

Baseball, more than any other American sport, has had countless books, essays, and articles written about it. For whatever reason, baseball attracts the literate, the intellectual, and writers, in ways that basketball, football, and hockey rarely do.

What is it about a game that was once our nation's pastime, warrant the attention of best selling authors, political columnists, theologians, and many others?

John Dickerson, Slate's chief political correspondent, is trying to teach baseball to his 6-year-old son, with limited success, or so he indicates in his latest column. He's looking for someone to refine the essence of a game, filled with history, scandal, various rule changes, with its current incarnation something that a hard-boiled player from its stories past, say Ty Cobb, would barely recognize, into a pithy 150 words. Why has everything connected to writing and words been taken over by limitations and minimalism? Not everything worth writing about lends itself to 140 characters, ala Twitter.

I did take Dickerson up on his challenge, however, and sent in my 150 word take on America's grand old game.



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