Monday, June 23, 2014

Perfect Pastimes: Books and Baseball

No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined.  ~Paul Gallico, sportswriter and novelist (The Poseidon Adventure)  

As summer officially begins and ballplayers of all ages run onto the field, I wanted to tip my cap to two of my favorite pastimes: books and baseball.  Believe me, I'm hardly the only baseball nut here at Revision Warriors. And that’s no surprise, because really, books and baseball have a lot in common. Stick with me...


You walk in the stadium, find your seats, and POOF. That’s it. The outside world disappears as the home team runs onto the field.  
My baseball watching buddies.
That’s how it feels for me. Like cracking open a new book. Every game presents a new cast of characters, favorite heroes and villains. Pitching duals, rivalries, batting orders are subplots. Every inning is a new chapter.  

"The game's isn't over until it's over." Yogi Berra    

Plot Twists & Colorful Characters

Strategy makes for plot twists; a well-timed change-up, a bunt, a sacrifice fly— every action a potential game changer.  The story could climax with a three-run homer, or sending in that closing pitcher that hitters fear more than the boogie man.  Like when the Yankees would call in this guy, who they called The Sandman...

‘The Closer’ by Mariano Rivera and Wayne Coffey (Little, Brown)

Or say the game is a snoozer. Seven innings of watching your zombified home team getting blasted by a team with a killer lineup. But this is baseball...   

"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the god***n plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." Earl Weaver


And vocabulary? I’d wager baseball has the finest collection of JARGON on Earth.  
Baltimore chop Fungo Chin music Balk Screwball Dugout Beanball 
These words are just fun. Period. 

Reading books or watching baseball can make me feel like a kid again. Both are experiences that are fun to share. I relived the joy of “The Monster at the End of this Book” with my daughter, and I’ll probably re-read “Charlotte’s Web” when she’s a little older. These stories are a constant— just like watching a ball game. 

It’s always there.  

Any other similarities I'm missing? Chime in below! :)


  1. The language got me! LOL! I had no idea baseball had all those quirky words. :) Love how you related baseball with books! I'll have to check out "The Monster at the End of this Book". Sounds like fun! :)

  2. So glad you enjoyed it Diane! I could have gone ON with the jargon! I thought maybe a link would be better. :) YES, do check out "The Monster at the End of this Book." And, go with the original, starring Grover. They've since made a version with Elmo tagging along too. I don't think it's as strong. ;)

  3. I love how inspiration is truly all around us. Great post, Rina. :)