Conte at bat, back in the day. (Mickey Senko/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The best American traits are represented in baseball, so it’s OK to expect America’s representatives to be at their best playing baseball.
“In all its complementary contradictions, its play of antitheses, baseball captured a continent bounded to east and west by oceans, laced by mountains and rivers, dry, fertile, wet, wooded, and at its heart, or stomach, endlessly flat. America is a topography mythologized by its inhabitants as they crossed and re-crossed it into an image of themselves, diverse, demanding, unified by common acts of consent to a government of themselves, a government consciously checked and balanced, the formal antitheses of the state reflecting and shaping the inclusive ideals and isolationist tendencies of a people receptive and wary,” A. Bartlett Giamatti, the late baseball commissioner, said in a speech 30 years ago to the Massachusetts Historical Society. Giamatti saw baseball, nation and government inextricably linked. Full story