THE SYMBOLISM OF HOME PLATE. Why should baseball rules be different at home plate from the rules at the other bases? The executive director of the players union is quoted (in the article I linked to yesterday) as saying: “There is nothing more sacred in the game than home plate, and baserunners want to do all they can to score a run while catchers want to do their best to defend the plate — in many cases at all costs…..”

Home plate is a powerful symbol. Some forty years ago I was showing people an article in Critical Inquiry about baseball. Critical Theory is a journal—new in the mid 70’s—devoted to high literary and aesthetic theory. This article compared the sixth game of the 1975 World Series to a structuralist theory of the Russian folk tale. One of the points it made was the importance in both Russian folk tales and in baseball of being away from home and of eventually coming home.

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