A homeless guy who clouts homers in a softball league somewhere in the heartland.Needless to say, the story doesn't turn out to be simple. But it does turn out to be a bit heartwarming ... in an ironic way.
It sounded too good to be true, at first, but baseball is full of things that are too good to be true --- baseball itself is too good to be true --- and that's one of the things we love about it. Like no other sport, baseball caters to our need for mythology. For pretend.
Only now, looking back, do I recognize the internal pretending that propelled me to St. Louis in the first place. I told myself I wanted a good story, but in truth I wanted a simple story, one that was laid out before me, neatly arranged between two clean white lines. No trapdoors, no surprises. As I usually do when the world seems unusually crazy, I wanted to focus on something easy, just for a few hours. And I figured: What's easier than baseball? What could be more therapeutic for a flagging spirit than a nice, one-dimensional hero with a bat in his hand?
06 January 2006
I have a story about softball for you.