Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Baseball

For me baseball is the greatest sport there is.  It is a game of patience, not controlled by a clock, but played until there is a winner.  Baseball is the oldest of America’s three great sports.  It was played by soldiers during the civil war. Even though it is the oldest of our sports it has not undergone major changes like some of the others.  The game that is played today is the same game played 100 years ago.  This is most evident in baseball’s continual conversation with its own history.  Professional players not only compete against other current players, but they compete against players from the past as well.  There is a sportsmanship in baseball unlike any other in professional sports.  It’s not unusual to see opposing players having a friendly conversation at 1st base when they are in the middle of a game against each other.  It is also not uncommon to see players from an opposing team congratulate a player who has broken one of baseball’s beloved records.

Beginning last week I revisited Ken Burns’ masterpiece Baseball, which has recently been updated with a 10th inning.  I think Burns is one of the most important Americans living in the 20th and 21st centuries.  He is a historian who does not give us history in books, but in video form through his great documentaries.  I still love to read books, but more and more Americans are receiving their information through some sort of screen (computer, television, movie, etc.), and this is why Ken Burns is so important.  More Americans will be influenced by his documentaries, than by the latest book on history.  What Ken Burns has done with Baseball is given us a history of America told through the story of baseball.  Some people may not want to watch a documentary on the history of America from 1840-2009, but they will watch a documentary on baseball.

I was 14 when Ken Burns’ Baseball first aired.  It probably had as much to do with my love of baseball as the sport itself.  It made me familiar with the history of the game and helped me to identify with its ongoing story.  Although it takes practice and discipline baseball is a sport anyone can play.  You don’t have to be 6’10” or weigh 250 lbs.  It is a game where 5’9″ 180 lbs. Dustin Pedroia can win MVP.  It is a game where there are no perfect seasons.  You may lose today and have to play tomorrow, hoping you improve as the season progresses.  Baseball is a lot like life.  You can be on top and fall to the bottom, but you can also be on bottom and rise to the top.

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