Friday, April 1, 2011
Until his death September 1, 1989, former president of Yale University and of the National Baseball League, A. Bartlett Giamatti, celebrated the passion of play and the rite of baseball when he said: "Sports reiterate the purpose of freedom every time they are enacted -- the purpose being to show how to be free and to be complete and connected, unimpeded and integrated all at once." Those words came to mind again this week as my hometown-team, the Detroit Tigers played the New ork Yankees. That was an away games in the Big Apple, but when they start at home in Comerica Park, that awesome stadium will be the gathering place of countless lives longing for a puase and "seventh inning stretch" of sorts from the hard work of the fragile game of life. The pastoral green grass of Spring and whistling breeze will blow about stores of families and friends in lightheartedness and laughter only a park invokes. Fans will pause from the practice and tedius skills required for life's challenges and delicate balance. Like life, the ball is batted while fans forget the foul plays and missed catches of daily trials and struggles, if as simple as changing a baby's diaper or walking with an aging parent who no longer runs the bases of life once upon a time. Baseball has us tripping here and falling there, even being caught playing the game of life less than fully the player one can be to cheat or sneak by or be far from truthful about matters that matter most with my family. Baseball has me chasing my wildest dreams and daring ventures, dashing home in this temporal life that will end and stop and be breathless like the baseball in its final roll. There is something about the rite of passage in playing ball and life and Spring that is eternal in making one complete and connected and free. Bring on baseball!