J. D. Thorne, speaker and author of the new book Baseball’s Winning Ways  (Available on Amazon Books).

“What I Like About Baseball”

I like:

  1. Baseball is a simple and understandable at root, like chess, checkers, backgammon, scrabble, and monopoly. I grew up playing it, and watching it being played.  Yet, try to explain that to a European, South African, or any other sports enthusiasts weaned across the globe on what we Americans call soccer.  Add cricket, or even rugby players to the list?  To them, baseball must seem incomprehensible with all its rules and exceptions to those rules.  Try to explain the rule on an “infield fly,” or a “dropped third strike” to an English friend.  Why is it bunting a foul ball with two strikes an out?  Why does it take four “balls” to advance a base, but only three “strikes” to record an “out?”  How exactly are pitches distinguished between “balls” and “strikes?”


  1. Each baseball game is unique. From Chicago 16 inch softball with no gloves for the fielders and 60 foot bases—to Major, Minor, Semi-Pro, Amateur, and Collegiate League Baseball—it is art.  All players hope to be proven worthy when playing it!  For each game, the players are different.  Once started, no game is exactly alike.  Amazing plays take place, although many are routine.  It is akin to playing craps, luck is included in the package.  There used to be a regular series in the Saturday Evening Post called, “So You Think You Know Baseball?”  Amazing, unusual plays were reported.  My favorite among these was when two balls were put in play during the same play by Cubs catcher Sammy Taylor, but that is another story.  Each new game may discover something never having occurred before.  This can be discussed among friends.  The game, once begun, will certainly never be played the same way again.  How will we perform?  How will we react?  The tension between the possible and the potential, and failure or success, is on public display for all to see.


  1. Playing baseball was always a joy, except the day a high school coach had us run throughout the school all practice when there was a lackadaisical approach to a previous game from some, but not me, required it. I remember the coach saying, “Gentlemen, just throw your gloves here, you won’t be needing them today.”


  1. I admire the “hand-eye” skill it takes to play baseball well. It takes God-given talent.  It also takes perseverance, pluck, will, athletic ability, and mental focus to achieve as a player among all the competition.  One never knows if success will be attained in a baseball game, but one still dares to play, watch, compete, and cheer.


  1. I try not to expect too much in baseball, but cheer for success.  With baseball I always get something to cheer about!


Go Brewers



Sporting Chance Press includes books on sports including baseball. Our baseball books:

The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy’s Principles for Baseball (and Life)  also by J. D. Thorne

Public Bonehead, Private Hero: The Real Legacy of Baseball’s Fred Merkle

Baseball’s Winning Ways