Letters to the Editor: Baseball’s timeless rhythms may be boring to you. To fans, they’re poetry

Fans get ready for the second National League Division Series game at Dodger Stadium.
Fans get ready for the second National League Division Series game at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 9, 2023.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Rick Mayock’s words about the timelessness of baseball carry me back in time to my childhood.

Growing up in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood, my parents’ house was on a canyon that funneled sound right up into my open bedroom window. I could hear foghorns, miles away, but more importantly, I could hear the sounds of the Little League games being played across that canyon: the crack of a bat (wooden, of course), the muffled cheers of parents, the inevitable tapering off as families dispersed.

We played ball in the street too. Calls of “Car!” suspended time, but only for a moment. Drivers knew to look out for us, and we knew to look out for them. It was a sacred pact. Games such as these went on for eternity — or until nightfall, whichever came first.


I have always felt that those who find baseball boring are those who also don’t understand fishing, particularly fishing that, by design, results in catching no fish. Quite possibly, they also don’t understand poetry, because that’s what baseball is.

As the Major League Baseball season opens, I am reminded of the rhythms of time and how they line up with my own mortality. Yet I cannot think of a grander way to exit this Earth than to have eternity come knocking at my door and ask, “Wanna play some ball?”

Wendy Schramm, Vista, Calif.


To the editor: As a lifelong fan of baseball, I have to disagree with Mayock’s complaint about the attempts to shorten games with the pitch clock and other changes.

I don’t feel any “religious nostalgia” watching 16-inning games or seeing pitchers pace around the mound as hitters adjust their batting gloves 10 times. Let’s keep the game moving.

For me, the timelessness of baseball is found in the beautiful concept of needing to get three outs to end a half inning. If the Dodgers come up in the bottom of the ninth trailing by five runs, there is no ticking clock limiting their quest for victory. As long as they get runners on base, the game continues.


That is where the beauty of timelessness in baseball is found.

Joel Jamison, Carpinteria


To the editor: I enjoyed Mayock’s piece. I too rail against these recent rule changes for the sake of “efficiency.”

So what if a night game lingers into the wee hours of the morning? That’s part of baseball’s charm and appeal, at least to me.

Of course, late games cause TV barons to lose their minds, because they are likely to foul up profane commercial broadcast schedules. So be it.

Kudos to Mayock and The Times for a literate exposition of what should have been obvious to baseball executives.

David Pieri, La Crescenta



To the editor: Mayock’s meditation on the timeless essence of baseball reminded me of something my best friend once said: “I learn more about human nature in the sports pages than I do from all the philosophy books I read.”

I wish my friend were still alive. He would have loved Mayock’s thoughtful essay.

Michael Thorpe, Oxnard