We have talked occasionally on these pages about the game of baseball as a metaphor for life. It has its rules, which are to be respected, otherwise nothing can be advanced. (Wall Street please note.) It has its ups and downs, which test the loyalty of fans. Some teams in New York and Chicago test it more than others. And it has its heroes, who, at their best, quietly inspire in a way that transcends age and place in life and unites both tycoon and taxi driver in a common adulation. And it has its terrible disappointments that go beyond the loss of a game or even a season. They break the heart.
In recent years, there have been a lot of broken hearts. The game has lost some of the glitter and the grace it once had. It needs to get them back.
Compare these clips from two who have commanded enormous idolization and trust in their time. There could not be a starker contrast, or sadder commentary, on the decline of the game, and the need to get its magic back.
Honest people. Authentic character. Modesty in the face of success. Grace in the company of defeat. Respect for the institution, its fans and all the trust that goes with the uniform. This is the way back for baseball and those who are fortunate enough to be able to aspire to the fields where the Greats once played and where their spirit never fades.
This is the way for genuine heroes. It is a one-way road.