A beautiful essay on baseball

On Baseball

Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci spent five days on the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training this year. His account of the experience appears in the March 14, 2005 issue of SI.

I step into the batter’s box, placing my right foot in the hole… scraped inside the back chalk line. I am aware of nothing but [the pitcher] — not the crowd, not the infield in and Lord knows not the blue sky.

This moment is the essence of the game, its molecular core. It is why we love baseball as we love a family member, while the other sports have to manage with our lust, infatuation or uncommitted affection. Either I will win or [the pitcher] will win, and even the most rudimentary fan will immediately know it. No one will have to wait for the game films. And no teammate can help me.

A baseball game will stage about 80 of these batter versus pitcher matchups, all of which appeal to our American sense of democracy — we must take turns at bat — and our thirst for conflict and for quick and clear resolution, the backbone of prime-time television, our real national pastime, as well. Eighty miniversions of CSI.

2024-01-27: Broken links in this post have been removed and/or updated.

Post the first comment:

I'll never share your email address and it won't be published.

What Is This?

davidgagne.net is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.


A few years ago I was trying to determine what cocktails I could make with the alcohol I had at home. I searched the App Store but couldn't find an app that would let me do that, so I built one.


You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.