Walt Whitman once said, “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us.” You could look it up.
The World Series is over for another year. After 9-11 the country needed baseball more than ever. Boston needed it this year, and so did I while worrying about the loss of the America where I grew up. The boys of summer are playing their last few innings of the season as I write this. I think of the movie Bull Durham (1988) and can hear Susan Sarandon saying in a North Carolina drawl the Walt Whitman quote. I have never forgotten the scene with a fireplace mantel turned into an altar. Remember?
A WALL COVERED WITH BASEBALL PICTURES covered with objects and lit candles. A baseball, an old baseball card, a broken bat, a rosin bag, a jar of pine tar — also a peacock feather, a silk shawl, a picture of Isadora Duncan. Clearly, the arrangement is a shrine and glows with the candles.
I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones — I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan…
I believe baseball does repair our losses and has been a blessing to us. Watching the Series this year makes me feel better.