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The Eternal Hope of Spring: Baseball and the U.S.

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Posted on April 5 2010 5:50 am
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by Andrew Mellon

Spring means for millions of Americans renewed hope. This is not Barack Obama’s sullied ‘hope’, but hope in the sense of untempered optimism, a youthful belief that miracles are possible and the fanciful notion that finally the stars will align and this will be our year. Spring means that our lives will be diverted for three hours each day, mesmerized by new epics, comedies and tragedies with valiant heroes, vile villains, twists, turns, unbridled joy, tortuous heartbreak and through it all a devotion to something greater than ourselves which we have no control over yet irrationally believe that we do. Spring means baseball.

Baseball is the quintessential American game. As with our system of government, baseball took something British and made it better. It started out as an agrarian game played across America’s heartland, and over time evolved like our nation with an influx of immigrants, the addition of the DH (call it welfare) and the institution of the luxury tax (a progressive means of redistribution of course), and though like America it has been blighted with corruption and scandal (Teapot Dome:Black Sox Scandal as Impeachment:Steroids), baseball has retained its fundamental character and charm.

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