I had to see Jackie Robinson, the man who was going to somehow wreck everything. So the next day, another kid and I started walking to the ballpark early.

We always walked to save the streetcar fare. It was five or six miles, but I felt about baseball the way Abe Lincoln felt about education.


He swung at the first pitch and they erupted as if he had knocked it over the wall. But it was only a high foul that dropped into the box seats. I remember thinking it was strange that a foul could make that many people happy.

—Mike Royko, “Jackie’s Debut a Unique Day,” 10/25/72

Roger Ebert says that sports isn’t art, and while I don’t disagree with him, sometimes its simplicity—and lack of inherent meaning—abstracts the world around us into something comprehensible* in the way that art sometimes does, or intends to (h/t @nocoastoffense, @ebertchicago).

* “Art alone can turn those thoughts of disgust at the horror or absurdity of existence into imaginary constructs which permit living to continue.”