In the fall, we all recite Bart Giamatti’s quote about baseball being designed to break your heart. In the spring we tend to go with Walt Whitman’s words about the game and how it will “repair our losses and being a blessing to us.” Never mind that . . . he may not have said that.
Still, even with giants like those men waxing poetic about our national pastime, there is room for more poetry. Or some good prose anyway. Even from non-literary lights. Like Terry Francona, who said this wonderful thing to the Boston Globe:
“It’s one of the most amazing feelings there is,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time because I’m getting older. I’m not sure how something can be the same over and over and over and over again and yet be so wonderful. There’s a lot excitement. There’s certainly some anxiety. There’s probably a small piece of terror. Did we cover everything? Things like that. But it’s the same every year. It never changes. I hope it doesn’t. It’s a great feeling.”
It’s not going to win poetry awards, but that bit about how something can be the same over and over and still be wonderful is the very essence of baseball and why I love it.