What Is Baseball?


Here is another great piece by the blogosphere’s very own Maqman and submitted to us for publication.

Baseball can be described in many ways.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary says it is:  “A game played with a bat and ball between two teams of nine players each on a large field having four bases that mark the course a runner must take to score; also: the ball used in this game.”  Well that one is in the ballpark so to speak but we know there are many more descriptions.  As I like to collect quotes here’s a few more opinions on the subject.Baseball is not necessarily an obsessive-compulsive disorder, like washing your hands 100 times a day, but it’s beginning to seem that way.  We’re reaching the point where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life.  Take your pick.  – Thomas Boswell, Washington Post, 13 April 1990

Baseball, it is said, is only a game.  True.  And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.  – George F. Will, Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball, 1990

Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem.  – Saul Steinberg

There are three things in my life which I really love:  God, my family, and baseball.  The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.  – Al Gallagher, 1971

Baseball is like a poker game.  Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.  – Jackie Robinson

It ain’t like football.  You can’t make up no trick plays.  – Yogi Berra

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very un-orderly world.  If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off.  – Bill Veeck

I don’t care how long you’ve been around; you’ll never see it all.  – Bob Lemon, 1977

No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined.  – Paul Gallico

A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings.  – Earl Wilson

Baseball was made for kids, and grown-ups only screw it up.  – Bob Lemon

Baseball is a fun game.  It beats working for a living.  – Phil Linz

Baseball is the only major sport that appears backwards in a mirror.  – George Carlin, Brain Droppings, 1997

With those who don’t give a damn about baseball, I can only sympathize.  I do not resent them.  I am even willing to concede that many of them are physically clean, good to their mothers and in favor of world peace.  But while the game is on, I can’t think of anything to say to them.  – Art Hill

That’s baseball, and it’s my game.  Y’ know, you take your worries to the game, and you leave ’em there.  You yell like crazy for your guys.  It’s good for your lungs, gives you a lift, and nobody calls the cops.  Pretty girls, lots of ’em.  – Humphrey Bogart

Say this much for big league baseball – it is beyond question the greatest conversation piece ever invented in America.  – Bruce Catton

It breaks your heart.  It is designed to break your heart.  The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.  – A. Bartlett Giamatti, “The Green Fields of the Mind,” Yale Alumni Magazine, November 1977

Baseball is the only place in life where a sacrifice is really appreciated.  – Author Unknown

The other sports are just sports.  Baseball is a love.  – Bryant Gumbel, 1981

More than any other American sport, baseball creates the magnetic, addictive illusion that it can almost be understood.  – Thomas Boswell, in Inside Sports

Baseball?  It’s just a game – as simple as a ball and a bat.  Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes.  It’s a sport, business – and sometimes-even religion.  – Ernie Harwell, “The Game for All America,” 1955

Baseball is a harbor, a seclusion from failure that really matters, a playful utopia in which virtuosity can be savored to the third decimal place of a batting average.  – Mark Kramer

I believe in the Church of Baseball.  I tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones.  I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms and Isadora Duncan.  I know things.  For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball.  When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance.  – Ron Shelton, Bull Durham, 1988

Baseball is an island of activity amidst a sea of statistics.  – Author Unknown

Baseball is a ballet without music.  Drama without words.  – Ernie Harwell, “The Game for All America,” 1955

A game of great charm in the adoption of mathematical measurements to the timing of human movements, the exactitudes and adjustments of physical ability to hazardous chance.  The speed of the legs, the dexterity of the body, the grace of the swing, the elusiveness of the slide – these are the features that make Americans everywhere forget the last syllable of a man’s last name or the pigmentation of his skin.  – Branch Rickey, May 1960