"You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church."
All Shamanism is Local Shamanism
Meaning that although the shamanic principles are universal, the local myths and legends of a people dominate a culture, which their rituals must embody, as a unifying folklore.
Such a common mythology is difficult to find though, within a people of such divergent tribal backgrounds.
But, Americans do have one mythos in common that unites them in ritual experience.
Baseball is mythical.
Baseball has heroes of epic proportion.
Baseball has sinister villains.
Baseball has the tragedy of a Lou Gehrig,
And the comedy of a Yogi Berra.
Baseball has tales of Jedi Knights,
Who battle "The Evil Empire".
Baseball is spiritual.
The path in Baseball will lead you back home.
Though you may make a mistake along the way,
There will be no penalty.
You have only made an error.
You may be called upon to make a sacrifice,
But, your sacrifice will be to help someone else get home.
Baseball is ritual.
You gather together in congregation.
On a spring afternoon under the Sun,
Or a warm summer evening under the lights,
And you sit and watch,
As people play out your dreams,
This experiment was baseball. In order to give the thing vogue from the start, and place it out of the reach of criticism, I chose my nines by rank, not capacity. There wasn't a knight in either team who wasn't a sceptered sovereign. As for material of this sort, there was a glut of it always around Arthur. You couldn't throw a brick in any direction and not cripple a king.
Of course, I couldn't get these people to leave off their armor; they wouldn't do that when they bathed. They consented to differentiate the armor so that a body could tell one team from the other, but that was the most they would do. So, one of the teams wore chain-mail ulsters, and the other wore plate-armor made of my new Bessemer steel.
Their practice in the field was the most fantastic thing I ever saw. Being ball-proof, they never skipped out of the way, but stood still and took the result; when a Bessemer was at the bat and a ball hit him, it would bound a hundred and fifty yards sometimes. And when a man was running, and threw himself on his stomach to slide to his base, it was like an iron-clad coming into port.
At first I appointed men of no rank to act as umpires, but I had to discontinue that. These people were no easier to please than other nines. The umpire's first decision was usually his last; they broke him in two with a bat, and his friends toted him home on a shutter. When it was noticed that no umpire ever survived a game, umpiring got to be unpopular. So I was obliged to appoint somebody whose rank and lofty position under the government would protect him.
The first public game would certainly draw fifty thousand people; and for solid fun would be worth going around the world to see. Everything would be favorable; it was balmy and beautiful spring weather now, and Nature was all tailored out in her new clothes.
"I believe in the Church of Baseball. I tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance . But it just didn't work out between us ..... I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball"
Home of the Boston Red Sox
One of the joys of New England life is returning to the chapel that is the home of the Boston Red Sox; Fenway Park. Unlike other Shrines, though, this house of worship generates electricity. It is a place where visitors can see the invisible murals that have been painted and left behind by the men who have played there in years gone by...
That glorious "chapel" called Fenway Park began its formal life history in September 1911 when ground was broken by the James McLaughlin Construction Company. Less than a year later, (and after two rain delays), Fenway Park finally hosted its first professional baseball game on April 20, 1912.
(The first official game played in Fenway Park actually occurred on April 9 when the Red Sox beat Harvard University, 2-0.)
A century later the hallowed grounds are still standing despite the commercialization of virtually every aspect of the game.
“The more I work with Nature and totemism, the more church is everywhere.”
~ S. Kelley Harrell ~
"As I grew up, I knew that as a building Fenway Park was on the level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid at Giza, the nation's capitol, the Czar's Winter Palace, and the Louvre; except, of course, that it is better than all those inconsequential places." (Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti)
"As Commissioner, you’re supposed to be objective. It wasn’t much of a secret, though, that I loved Fenway; especially how it made you a participant, not a spectator." (Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn)
"The thing that I remember the most is just the feeling you get when you walk out on that field. All of the ballparks, especially the new ones, and Camden Yards, I guess, started the trend, try to capture in the modern sense the feeling of Fenway Park. It's just a great feeling to be able to play baseball on that field. It's a special place." (Cal Ripken, Jr in Sports Illustrated)
"Fenway is the essence of baseball." (Tom Seaver in the Christian Science Monitor)
"I'm helplessly and permanently a Red Sox fan. It was like first love...You never forget. It's special. It's the first time I saw a ballpark. I'd thought nothing would ever replace cricket. Wow! Fenway Park at 7 o'clock in the evening. Oh, just, magic beyond magic: never got over that." (Art Historian Simon Schama in 'History in Brilliant Brushstrokes')
"That moment, when you first lay eyes on that field; The Monster, the triangle, the scoreboard, the light tower Big Mac bashed, the left-field grass where Ted Williams once roamed ; it all defines to me why baseball is such a magical game." (ESPN Analyst Jayson Stark)
"That's the magic of Fenway Park . That’s why people love it so. Come to think of it, at Fenway almost every year is a wonder year." (Red Sox Announcer Ned Martin)
"New England's parlor, a region's nightclub, and the Olde Towne Team's hearth. To generations of Americans, going to Fenway Park has been like coming home." (Curt Smith in 'Our House : A Tribute to Fenway Park')
“A crazy-quilt violation of city planning principles, an irregular pile of architecture, a menace to marketing consultants, Fenway Park works. It works as a symbol of New England 's pride, as a repository of evergreen hopes, as a tabernacle of lost innocence. It works as a place to watch baseball." (Martin F. Nolan in 'A Ballpark, Not a Stadium')
"We love Fenway Park because we love antiques, be they rocking chairs or ballparks. But we love it even more because the eccentricities of the place mirror our own. It is, like us, difficult and cranky. And this makes it a mighty hard place for a player to play in. Too bad. Players come and go, but Fenway Park may become an American Pyramid." (Boston Red Sox Sportscaster Clark Booth in 'Fenway' by Dan Shaughnessy)
.The Royal Rooter's Anthem
The original version of "Tessie" (You Are the Only, Only, Only) was written by Will R. Anderson and was featured in the Broadway musical "The Silver Slipper". While a popular tune, the song gained greater notoriety when it was adopted as a rallying cry by the Royal Rooters, a collection of loyal fans led by Michael T. McGreevy, better known as "Nuff Ced McGreevy", owner of the original Boston sports bar, the 3rd Base Saloon . Which got its name because, like third base, it was the last stop before heading home.
McGreevy earned his nickname "Nuf Ced" due to the way he kept peace in his bar; when he grew frustrated with arguments over the Boston Americans (later renamed the Red Sox), he would pound his hand on the bar and declare 'Nuff said!".
colleen "tessie" reilly
The Boston fans remembered "Tessie" fondly through the years, even though the Royal Rooters had stopped singing in 1916. The Red Sox won the World Series in 1918, but then endured an 86-year drought. In 2004, the Boston-area Celtic punk group the Dropkick Murphys recorded a cover of "Tessie", which was released on an EP and video of the same name. The Murphys said it was their intent to "bring back the spirit of the Rooters" and to put the Red Sox back on top
The goal of the Dropkick Murphys was realized when, on October 27th, 2004, the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.. The following morning, lines of cars appeared at cemetery gates all over New England. The visitors had come to reconnect with their ancestors and sit by the graves of old departed Red Sox fans to regale them with the story of the miracle season