Monday, August 5, 2019

For most of the summer of 2019 I'll be authoring,
not blogging

Due in the fall, 2019
I Didn’t Understand Baseball Until I Was 55.
Can I Figure Our God before I’m 75?
                 A Sporting & Spiritual Journey,
                by Bestselling Author Michael N. Marcus
Author Michael N. Marcus was born in the Bronx in 1946 and spent the first six years of his life just a few miles from Yankee Stadium. Despite this proximity, he never became a baseball fan―probably because he never received a proper explanation of the sport. ​According to Marcus, “When other kids asked me who my favorite player was, I’d quickly say “Mickey Mantle.” It was an easy answer because Mick and I shared initials and nobody would disagree.”
In 2001 a nephew and nieces begged Marcus to take them to a game at Yankee Stadium. He packed a radio with a headset, and a book. Marcus set the radio to WCBS, allegedly an all-news station, and he was shocked to encounter a play-by-play analysis of the game in front of him. Soon he began to understand “the national pastime.” 
In baseball, it had always seemed to Marcus, that it was the hitters who were the heroes. People like Mantle hit the balls that drove up the scores that won games and the World Series. But what he learned from the radio was that it was the pitchers and catchers—not the hitters—who were really in control. Balls―not bats―made the big difference.
​Throwing was more important than hitting, and it was the silent, stealthy, sneaky catchers squatting behind home plate who signaled instructions to pitchers who caused hitters to strike out. ​Because of good pitchers, even good hitters seldom got good hits. And, if they did, the balls were usually caught by good fielders. ​Marcus actually enjoyed baseball that day.
​​The parallel premise of this book is that Marcus’s concept of God was based on inadequate information plus childhood images of an old guy with a long beard up on a cloud. Marcus says, “​I outgrew religion when I was 12 years old and could not get a good explanation for why the mighty Supreme Being who smote the enemies of the ancient Jewish people did not stop Atilla the Hun, the Great Plague, the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust and the KKK. ​ I wondered if the allegedly omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent King of the Universe was absent, distracted, no longer cared, or never actually existed. ​I could accept the notion of a creative force (which I label The Prime Catalyst) but I could not make a transition from a Big Bang to a Supreme Being that should be feared and prayed to. ​I recognize that I don’t know everything, but the possibility of there being a super-entity is so remote that I am willing to live my life as if it does not exist.”
​Marcus’s late understanding of baseball made him appreciate the sport, but it came too late to make him a fan. ​Similarly, he had his first coffee on his 70th birthday. He liked it, but never became a fan. In researching this book Marcus hopes to arrive at an ‘adult’ understanding of God.

Will a better understanding make him a believer, or maybe even a fan? Perhaps. The answer is ahead.

This book is a sporting and spiritual journey. Enjoy the ride.

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