oddments and fascinations
[Baseball] is a linear sport. Something happens and then something else happens, and then the next man comes up and digs in at the plate. Here’s the pitch, and here, after a pause, is the next. There’s time to write it down in your scorecard or notebook, and then perhaps to look about and reflect on what’s starting to happen out there now. It’s not much like the swirl and blur of hockey and basketball, or the highway crashes of the NFL.
Baseball is the writer’s game, and its train of thought, we come to sense, is a shuttle, carrying us constantly forward to the next pitch or inning, or the sudden double into the left-field corner, but we keep hold of the other half of our ticket, for the return trip on the same line. We anticipate happily, and, coming home, reenter an old landscape brightened with fresh colors. Baseball games and plays and mannerisms—the angle of a cap—fade stubbornly and come to mind unbidden, putting us back in some particular park on that special October afternoon or June evening. The players are as young as ever, and we, perhaps not entirely old.
Tobias Wolff, from "Bullet in the Brain", published in the collection The Night in Question (via the-final-sentence)