The Sport of Life and Death Threats

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``Don't hate the player; hate the game.,,
  -- Полиграф Полиграфович Шариков

This ain't quite an obituary, for I disqualify myself from writing those about people of whom I only first learned by reading those written by others; for, however often professional journalists may discover that, contrary to chasing dreams of shattering records in composition of the primary sources, the formal funereals are their responsibility, and I am neither paid nor well, and not much of a reporter, either. If only I could write one for that pastime!

Baseball has done a lot for me,
given me an education in meeting
other kinds of people...
It has taught me that regardless
 of who you are and how much money
  you make, you are still a Negro.
 - Henry Aaron [quoted in the link]

Individual pinnacles of athleticism frequently speak louder than arbitrary rulesets, especially when doing so in the face of adversity, yet I am puzzled as to why a man no stranger to the limelight, would credit so strong a lesson to the whims of a nation; it's just a pastime, after all, and far too measured and quantified for consideration as a game like football (either kind, really!). So you may rightly ask, who did teach that lesson, if not the grassy diamond? Definitely not the upper management, and probably not the wastes of oxygen, nitrogen, and other assorted fuels of capitalism that kept Aaron's spam chute balanced; perhaps it is merely evidence of the man's humility, likely strengthened adversely by societal biases against a man who had the balls to spare the four seasons that'd let him walk to commencement, instead actually spending his every hour of youth honing the skills that payed his bills. Let's hope that future teachers, regardless of their pedigree, academic and otherwise, are less hesitant to claim a lesson as simply found, written in their own life story, that merely happened to be buried beneath the behaviors of fans and fanatics.


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