It's baseball Jan 28, 2009
I miss David Halberstam and his eye. He sees the ordinary and then reveals the universal and the compelling beneath the surface. One of the things that I think made baseball the "national pastime" was the way it is the canvas upon which we can both live and observe our lives. From the individual performance to the team effort on the field, the personalities, the confliicts and the competition, this is Americana in technicolor.
Halberstam takes us back to a time that was supposedly simpler and slower. This was when everything was easy. It appears to me that what made it slower, less complicated and easy was our ability to be distracted by this beautiful game and all its intricacies. Actually, we needed to have something to occupy ourselves as the Cold War broke out with all the speed and certainty of a Sunday double header.
But above it all is the author's deft ability to make the characters in this saga sharply focused. This is not really about the winners and losers, this is about how the characters played and what it meant to them.
Sounds a lot like life to me.
Thank you, David Halberstam. Rest in peace.