“The tendency among spoilsport sportswriters is to make it all so so elegiac and bittersweet—to like us to see our own lives (easier for men, of course) in these [minor leaguers’] prospects; to make it all a gooey-nostalgic allegory for trying and failing while still young, an emblem for rum life lived well instead of just being an emblem for itself—is baloney and I’m not wrong about it. Believe me, I don’t see myself in those boys’ lives. They’re not my vicars, and I don’t fantasize—at least not about them. I go to the game to quit thinking about my life, to sit and stare at a pleasant field I know on which is played a game I also know by players whose lives, wives, drug and betting habits, childhood tragedies, and religious infatuations I don’t know and don’t want to. I’m just there to watch, to be pleased, maybe even thrilled, but not, God help me, to take moral instruction.”
Richard Ford, “A Minors Affair” [excerpt] (Harper’s, September 1992)
Thanks to the excellent site, It’s a Long Season, for the picture of Buster and the quote.