|Willie Mays (Library of Congress)|
Who knew that "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" could be such a religious experience?
Apparently, New York University president John Sexton did. In fact,
he wrote a book titled "Baseball as a Road to God." No kidding…
During an April 2013 Religion & Ethics Newsweekly interview, Sexton explained his unusual perspective. He stated that both baseball and religion have a way of moving people beyond "the plane of ordinary existence into the plane of extraordinary existence."
Sexton sees baseball as a portal into "the ineffable" due to "the ecstasy" of such moments as Don Larsen's 1956 "perfect game" and Willie Mays' 1954 "seemingly impossible catch and throw." Moments like these can bring about an "intensified heightened sensitivity" that seems religious in nature.
Baseball encourages "an appreciation of living slowly and in the moment." It can help to teach lovers of the game that the sacred is not dependent upon dogma, but rather upon approaching everyday activities from a mindful perspective.
Copyright March 31, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved