|April 1 can't come soon enough|
One of my projects over the next few years is to explore what it is about baseball that tugs at me, and more broadly, to explore what deeper significance and meaning this seemingly simple game might have theologically. I've gradually been building up a library of novels, biographies, histories, and essays on the greatest game, and I hope to explore theological themes and ideas in baseball on this blog in future months and years. My hope is that this will turn into a larger project, though I have other projects that require most of my time and energy these days.
she found to be a very high failure rate.
And as I thought about her reaction, I realized that she had hit upon something that was actually very important about the nature of the game - its tolerance of failure. It is a maxim that baseball is a sport in which one need only succeed 30% of the time to be great, and as I've thought about this, I've realized how valuable this idea truly is.
I am a perfectionist, and while there are aspects of my perfectionism that are beneficial, the negatives far outweigh the positives for me. One of my personal weaknesses is that my spiritual and emotional well-being is frequently tied to an acute fear of failure that always lurks in the back of my thoughts. There is, therefore, something tremendously comforting to me about a game in which the hitter is defined, not by how many times they fail, but by how many times they succeed. Cobb is known for getting at hit 36.6% of the time he came to the plate, not by the fact that he failed to get a hit 63.4% of the time.
This is a remarkably generous interpretation of the facts. I don't want to be all 'let's-take-a-life-lesson-from-baseball' here, for that can lead to some unfortunately banal platitudes that are helpful to no one. But I can't help but view baseball's generous interpretation of 'success' as being very healthy. And as a perfectionist trying to get over my perfectionism, baseball serves me very well. Very well, indeed.