Baseball as a Road to God?

March 15th, 2013

This past week saw the pageantry of religion in the selection of a new Pope. Next month we will experience a different kind of pageantry, as the baseball season opens and for many it will be a kind of religious experience in its own right.

Long the national pastime, baseball has a special place in the pantheon of sports and entertainment. But with all of the competition these days, does baseball still have the same kind of appeal? Has it’s superstitions, streaks, luck, and it’s sense of “you gotta believe," been flattened by metrics? Has William James been replaced by Bill James, and has the inspiration fostered by a father and son praying at the altar of driveway catch, given way to Nate Silver and Billy Bean?

This is part of the story told by controversial NYU President John Sexton in Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the GameA book based on his wildly popular class at NYU.

My conversation with John Sexton: