Baseball As Metaphor For Life

Apr 5, 2018

The Saint Louis Cardinals will soon begin the 2018 baseball season. I will be right there with them, listening to games, watching when I can, and always reading the recaps.

Baseball, for me, in so many ways, represents life.

The regular season lasts an impossible 162 games. As Whitey Herzog once wrote: you will win 54 and lose 54; it is what you do with that other 54 that counts. So baseball is about patience, perspective, and perseverance.

The best fail seven out of ten times. But that, of course, is not completely true. An out is not always a failure. Sometimes, all that is called for is to move the runner over.

Of course, if I were to boot seven of ten ground balls, I would be out of a job. So much depends upon context.

Baseball is also a game of stats – so much so that an entire new area of mathematics now exists: sabermetrics.

Ninety feet separate the bases, creating a diamond. The outfield, however, is less exact. The reasons for this were once practical: fields were squeezed into existing neighborhoods.

There is no clock. The game is played until it is over. This can be inconvenient -- for fans who have to get up for work, for a tired bullpen, and for TV ratings.

Baseball as life: I can fail and get up again. But sometimes failure is not tolerated. There are myriad ways to measure how I am doing. I can count on some regularity, but I always have to adapt to where I am. And there will be nothing arbitrary about how it ends.

I am Michael Perry, and that is my perspective.