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Shoeless Joe- Baseball Is Rays Religion Essay, Research Paper

Essay – The True Believer

Religion is in all of us even if we don’t believe it is. Religion was first associated with churches, but there are other means of religion. W.P. Kinsella introduces baseball as a religious base. Ray Kinsella in the book “Shoeless Joe” believes in baseball just as much as a true Christian believes in Religion. Baseball gives him love for the game, guidance and orders, and a certain lifestyle.

To love someone or something is to have an intense emotion of affection, warmth, fondness, and regard towards a person or thing. Ray has this kind of relationship with baseball, he loves it, and he feels good when he plays or even watches the game. He may not love the game as much as he loves his family, or not the same way, but he does love the game. “To me it is baseball, and that is all that matters. It is the game that’s important – the tension, the strategy, the ballet of the fielders, the angle of the bat.” Ray thinks this is the purest of games, he loves everything about the game. He loves watching the plays, the sound of the crowed, eating the hotdogs and everything else that has to do with baseball.

Baseball brings you more than just entertainment, there are rule to follow and guidelines to the game. All the players follow the rules and if they do not then they will be just kick out right away. Ray follows the rules and brings order into his household this way. Everything he does and says has to do with baseball, Karin is very obedient and this is because she understands that rules are there to follow. She knows that if she follows the rules then she will succeed and thrive and will be rewarded. She is polite and knows when the right time to talk is. All this was learnt though baseball. Ray taught her values though the game and how good it feels to do something good. Maybe there are lessons to be learnt from baseball, the only way to find out is to watch the game, and that’s one way to change your ways.

Religion changes the way we live. Some people live to serve a single god, some people live to survive, and others live to find peace. This is all part of their lifestyles. Ray lives for baseball, which is his lifestyle. Every night at the same time he sits down with his family and they watch baseball. Ray grew up around baseball, his father always talked about it and he learned to love it, “Instead of nursery rhymes, I was raised on the story of the Black Sox Scandal, I grew up hearing of the eight disgraced ballplayers.” (7) All ray thinks about and talks about is baseball. His life revolves around baseball, he believes in it and thinks of it as his way of life.

If religion is a type of belief then baseball is defiantly Ray’s religion. His love for the game is unbearable. He keeps order and guidelines with baseball. He also has a lifestyle that reflects baseball. To him baseball is pure, it is real, it is all that he really needs, what could be closer to a religion than that, nothing could ever draw Ray away from his religion. He is true and real and he will never change, but why would he?


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