I grew up playing, watching and living baseball from April to October. We moved to the Atlanta area the same year the Braves moved there from Milwaukee. I was six years old and immediately became a fan. My hero was Hank Aaron. For a while he was the all-time home run champion, beating Babe Ruth’s long standing record.
In baseball the goal is to get home. The comedian George Carlin did a great routine comparing baseball and football. He ends the routine with this observation:
“And finally, the objectives of the two games are completely different: In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.
In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! – I hope I’ll be safe at home!”
I am truly a fan of both sports. One is not better than the other. Both can provide us with models and images to embrace.
Life can be a challenge and there are obstacles for us to overcome. Some people live in the fierce battle metaphor. Everyday is a struggle to survive, to crush the opposition and dominate the playing field. It is a competition calling for a deep commitment to win the prize.
Yes there is a time to fight and defend but living that way 24/7 will burn you out. Warriors need breaks from the battle. Thankfully, the football approach does not stand as the single and solitary way to approach life.
Baseball has a relaxed and leisurely air. It is a less rigid venture. There were times as a kid when I would be out playing on a summer evening and my mom would signal it was time to come in and get ready for bed. She would often flash the porch light to let me know. I would come running home, because there I would be cared for, cleaned, fed, and tucked in with a kiss. I was always safe at home. That too seems like a good goal to have in life.
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