Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game
by John Sexton, with Thomas Oliphant and Peter J. Schwartz
Gotham, 2013. 242 pgs. Nonfiction.
Believers both in God and in the sanctity of the game of baseball will love Sexton's new book, a logical and mythological extension of his NYU seminar of the same name. Sexton (what a great name for a writer of such a book!) finds in baseball and in the cathedral ineffable feelings, both the ballpark and the sanctuary as sacred space. His chapters, or innings, consider everything from the saints and sinners of baseball--Hank Greenberg and Ty Cobb, respectively--to the miraculous; e.g., Kirk Gibson's walk off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Drawing from sources as variant as Paul Tillich's theological writings to W. P. Kinsella's "Shoeless Joe," Sexton beautifully links the ineffable fruits of the spirit with the ineffable delights of baseball for fans of both faith and the summer game.