The complete title of this book is “Parables From The Diamond – Meditations for Men on Baseball & Life”. The authors are Phil Christopher and Glenn Dromgoole. This book was published in 2009, and came to me as part of a group of books shipped to me by Joe Aiello.
Phil Christopher is described as “a preacher with a passion for baseball, played baseball in college and coached Little League. Bats right. Throws left. Writes left.”
Glenn Dromgoole is described as “an author, journalist, and lifetime baseball fan. Bats right. Throws right. Writes left.”
We are further informed that the authors live in Abilene, Texas.
When I was a little shaver, I remember being told that a parable is “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning”. So I was on alert regarding the possibility of the authors reading too much into the game of baseball.
The inside front jacket cover gives us the following introduction: “Parables From The Diamond is a collection of fifty short meditations for men, using baseball as a theme….Parables From The Diamond covers such life lessons as:
- Nobody’s Perfect.
- Don’t go for the bad pitch.
- We all go through slumps.
- On a team, every position is important.
- Bad hops happen to good people.
Each piece begins with a quotation that relates both to baseball and to life, and ends with a thought-provoking question – such as “What have you learned from failure that made you stronger?” or “Do we place too much emphasis on winning in all areas of our lives?”
The top testimonial on the back cover states: “Parables From The Diamond is practical without being preachy….”
That’s kind of ironic because just before I read that, I was thinking: “Wow, this book is kind of preachy; kind of like the Church Lady on SNL.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
- “No one likes to finish last. But there are worse things in life than that.”
- “And yet, there is something to be said for the attitude expressed by Ernie Banks. If we cannot find satisfaction and take delight in what we do for a living, perhaps we are in the wrong line of work, or maybe we have let our jobs become routine.”
- “Fundamentals are the most valuable tools a player can possess. Bunt the ball into the ground. Hit the cutoff man. Take the extra base. Learn the fundamentals.” Dick Williams
- “Do not alibi on bad hops. Anybody can field the good ones.” Tommy LaSorda
- “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein
The quote about “Fundamentals” (above) made me seek out and listen to “The Fundamental Things” by Bonnie Raitt from her “Fundamental” CD. “Let’s get back to the fundamental things” she sings.
This whole book, although well intentioned and well written, was a little too deep for me. At least at this time.
But I passed it along to my wife to read. She seems to be getting into heavy stuff like this lately. I’ll let you know what she says if she ever gets around to reading it.
I recommend “Parables From The Diamond” to anyone looking for “heavenly meaning” in stories about baseball.
I want to thank bright sky press of Houston, Texas, for providing me a copy of “Parables From The Diamond” to read and review.