Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Plato Would Have Been a Baseball Fan, But What About God?

by Will Wlizlo


Tags: Spirituality, Baseball, First Things, Will Wlizlo,

baseballgod

“I know there are those who will accuse me of exaggeration when I say this,” writes essayist David B. Hart in a metaphysical explanation of the Great American Pastime for First Things, “but, until baseball appeared, humans were a sad and benighted lot, lost in the labyrinth of matter, dimly and achingly aware of something incandescently beautiful and unattainable, something infinitely desirable shining up above in the empyrean of the ideas.”

To be fair, baseball has always had its share of eloquent, celebrity boosters—American litterateur Mark Twain was a fan. Journalist George F. Will has deemed the game “Heaven’s gift to mortals.” But few have elevated baseball to such a lofty perch as Hart. “My hope, when all is said and done,” he says, “is that [Americans] will be remembered chiefly as the people who invented—who devised and thereby also, for the first time, discovered—the perfect game, the very Platonic ideal of organized sport, the ‘moving image of eternity’ in athleticis. I think that would be a grand posterity.”

Baseball’s inherent spectacle and hard to master skill-set, Hart argues, are interpretive launching points for all faiths.

As a Christian and a die-hard Baltimore Orioles fan, Hart contends that baseball speaks to a biblical worldview:

Source: First Things

Image by mwlguide, licensed under Creative Commons.