Sunday, November 6, 2022

Photo of the Day: The Sport We Follow—and That Follows Us

“A baseball is a skin full of different yarns, wound so intricately that strangers with nothing in common save the game—economists and novelists, say—need never want for something to chaw over. Baseball diamonds have preserved more marriages than any other kind…. The game was codified by a man, Alexander Cartwright, whose middle name was Joy. I follow baseball, through the boredom, through the greed, and when I try to stop, it follows me.”—American author, critic, broadcaster, arts administrator, academic and nonprofit bilingual lending librarian David Kipen, “The Reluctant Fan,” The Atlantic Monthly, June 2003

And so it will follow me, too, even now that the din of the World Series fades to silence. The game begins in spring, has been called “The Summer Game,” and refers to its climactic event as “The Fall Classic.” I will think of the coming months as its Season of Hibernation.

(The photo accompanying this post shows, of course, Yankee Stadium, which I visited on a company outing six years ago. The Bronx Bombers’ disappearance from the postseason has, to borrow the wonderful phrase from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, “temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.”)

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