Heartbreak is embedded in baseball at a granular level. Football, basketball, boxing, hockey ... these sports can knock the spiritual wind out of you, but not the way baseball can.
There's something about the slow unfolding of the game that mirrors Shakespeare's history plays and the work of the Greek tragedians. Is it a coincidence that the great yearly festival of Greek tragedies was held in late March/early April, which roughly coincides with the start of our baseball crop cycle?
Dan Barry has written a wrenching, entertaining book summing up the exhilaration and heartbreak of baseball in one 33-inning game in Pawtucket, R.I. Reading the book it was hard not to think about a game like it. In 1959 Harvey Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings for the Pirates against the Braves. The Braves were a murderer's row and were stealing signs, so they knew every pitch Haddix would throw. 12 perfect innings. Possibly the best performance ever by a major league pitcher. His team lost the game.
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