As a young person, baseball for me built self-esteem, self-confidence, positive self-concept. It provided social activity, socialization, recreation. Baseball helped me in college selection and admission and helped with my college tuition. Baseball resulted in travel opportunities as a young person I would not have otherwise experienced, exposure to the world, my first airplane flight, an unforgettable trip to Cooperstown with my son, Spring Training trips with my wife, and much, much more.
As was so beautifully expressed in a wonderful book I recently read, "Baseball as a Road to God" by John Sexton, baseball can provide very deep meaning for some of us. For some, baseball can touch the spiritual dimension of life......the "ineffable", as Sexton explains, that which cannot be defined or captured with words.
Sexton reveals a surprising amount of common ground between the game and what we most recognize as religion: sacred places and times, faith and doubt, blessings and curses, hope, struggle, redemption, joy. He talks of the heroic deeds of those such as the 'saintly' Christy Matheson, the 'sinful', deceptive antics of a Ty Cobb, the loving intimacy of a game of catch between a father and a son.