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John Thorn quotes
As the game enters its glorious final weeks, the chill of fall signals the reality of defeat for all but one team. The fields of play will turn brown and harden, the snow will fall, but in the heart of the fan sprouts a sprig of green.
For many in baseball September is a month of stark contrast with April, when everyone had dared to hope. If baseball is a lot like life, as pundits declare, it is because life is more about losing than winning.
But baseball bounced back in the next decade to reclaim its place as the national pastime: new heroes, spirited competition, and booming prosperity gave birth to dreams of expansion, both within the major leagues and around the world.
Better than anything else in our culture, it enables fathers and sons to speak on a level playing field while building up from within a personal history of shared experience - a group history - that may be tapped into at will in years to come.
We are fans because the game also appeals to our local pride, our pleasure in thinking of ourselves as, yes, Americans but nonetheless different from residents of other towns, other states, other regions.
Yes, we've seen it all before. And yes, those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it. But no, the sky is not falling - baseball is such a great game that neither the owners nor the players can kill it. After some necessary carnage, market forces will prevail.