A few words about the things we seek from baseball.
From all sports, really, but from America's pastime more than most. We seek heroes, of course, men and women who thrill us with their excellence, stun us with their prowess, whose diving catches and fadeaway jumpers jerk us to our feet, fists pumping, mouths wide and roaring.
But more than heroes, we seek examples, parables with which to teach our kids. Sports is, after all, an irresistible microcosm of life and its verities, an ongoing lesson in how to get a win and bear a loss, in the value of hard work and team work, in the importance of resilience and leadership, sacrifice and self-confidence.
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