In the Cheesy Household, Football is a religion. When Football season starts, everything else is practically put on hold. And we have our shrines. Full sized flags, backyard banners, garden gnomes, t-shirts, hoodies, collared golf shirts, sweatpants, stocking caps, scarves, videos, cute stuffed animals, and of course, authentic jerseys. We each have our own teams (Seahawks Forever!! The Boss is partial to the Ravens), and we support one another even if they go head to head. But make no mistake - this is a Football household to our very bones.
We do accept the existence of other less important sports though. For instance, The Boss and I have been spotted at a hockey game or two, and if someone throws us free baseball tickets, we head out to the ballpark for peanuts and beer.
And despite my love of the pigskin game, from a reader perspective, I must acknowledge there are no novels like baseball novels. A good baseball novel can make me wish I was more passionate about that sport. A good baseball novel transcends the sport itself and offers a wonderful philosophical perspective on life.
I haven't read a ton of baseball novels, but of those I've read, the author W.P. Kinsella has delivered the best. Shoeless Joe and The Iowa Baseball Confederacy cross the boundaries of mainstream literature and enter into the realm of magic realism. (For those who do not know, Mr. Costner's movie Field of Dreams was based on Shoeless Joe). The Natural is a famous Robert Redford movie to many, but among avid readers, the novel by Bernard Malamud is just as deserving of praise.
One thing to remember about baseball novels and why they transcend the genre and appeal to a wide range of readers, even those who don't follow the game, is because baseball novels are always about more than just baseball - they are about the human spirit that can be found deep within each of us, that untapped magic we can touch if only we believe in ourselves.
There are a ton more baseball novels out there - more than enough to keep your average baseball fan busy during the winter months waiting for the start of Spring Training (which by the starts this week and is the inspiration for this blog entry). So while I wait for 54 days for the NFL draft to begin, I'll read a baseball novel or two, and maybe catch a random game while visiting the local bar for a draft beer.
Until Next Time...
p.s. And what baseball blog entry would be complete without a reference to the #1 Rule in Baseball: http://youtu.be/6M8szlSa-8o