It’s true that baseball is no longer the most popular sport in America, that football has annexed that position; a sport where impossibly large men line up infinitesimally in the three point stance in the pantheon of America’s sports loving heart. But baseball embodies something more than a fading memory of the 1950’s and 60’s. The folklore of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Shot Heard around the World, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron has yet to be eclipsed by any other sport. Football may have the Frozen Tundra and the Steel Curtain, but it is baseball that is spoken about at barbecues and between the intermittent pops of fireworks. It’s the field of dreams. The boys of summer…
This brings me to some quintessentially American books, in tone and content, which appropriate the essence of baseball as a thematic device. Or in some cases, the very thing to bring fathers and sons back together.
Sunset Park by Paul Auster
Underworld by Don DeLillo
The Brothers K by David James Duncan
The Great American Novel by Philip Roth
For Love of the Game by Michael Shaara