This is a brief pre-history-history of the game that officially goes back to the Renaissance.
I say it’s always been there.
It’s always been there.
Let’s go way back (back-back-back). Back before the Renaissance.
The ball and the bat. Bat ‘n Stone. Stone and Bone. Rub the stone with the stick. Stick better than bone. Stick better with Rock. Rock. Throw the rock. Hit it back with the stick. Stick rock rick – flick crickety crick.
Back it up.
Before bat on ball.
Before rock with stick.
First just the stick. Falls off the tree. Or pull a better one down. Maybe shape it a bit. Perhaps with the Bone. Thick to hit beast thunk in the head. Or make it pointy to throw. Throw. Throw the spear. Pointy stick slips slick into deer.
Okay. Great. Make it sport. Diversion. Release. Life teacher.
Take turns showing your throw.
See who throws the spear furthest.
Put your big hairy hands together for the beast-master man who throws most far.
Laugh wild-eyed around the burning fire of broken spears while you tell the tale of the thrown sport stick that got Gortch in the foot. OOOOCH! HA-HA. Drink the frothy fresh devil dog piss from the pagan goat head tonight!
Now just the rock. Pick it up. Toss it up. Toss across. Toss at the beast. WITH FORCE. Up close brow-headed rock force.
Or the long toss. Again, see who throws for the most distance. Hit the beast who never saw it coming. That’s good sport too.
Quick. Back to stick only sports. The spear toss we’ve covered. (Eventually javelin: really only funny when someone is harmed.)
What about stick on stick? The joust.
But bat vs. bat always leads to the pain.
Too much rough-tough guy stuff.
Testosterone bone to head crunch.
Hey stop that.
I hit you now with the stick.
I hit back, see how you like it.
Then the hurt for real.
Maybe some death.
Okay, back to the ball. Back to the rock. Rock ball thrown back and forth. It can sting. (No gloves yet. Not widely accepted until the 1890’s.) But more gentle than the long throw at the animal skull.
Peaceful toss. See how many times you can do it.
Then you get a bit bored.
So add another person. 2 people throw rock back and forth, tree-stump to tree-stump with another person running between trying to add up tree-stump touches before getting caught. This can be boring to view = not fun to watch. Unless you have the rule that says you can catch the runner by hitting him/her with the rock ball. Again, death hangs over sport. Hit the right/wrong spot and the game is over - not much evolution from throwing the rock at the beast.
So it must be ball with bat – the game that demands more advanced socialization. Ball Thrower. Ball Catcher. And the stick man. Bat man. Bats-muhn.
And please add some others to catch the hit ball. Now you have some natural fun. Something worth watching - which keeps any game in play. Yet still something worth playing. Because the actual act of throwing the ball so that it won’t get hit, only caught by your catcher is very instructive to the brain-gut-soul further down and in. (And being the catcher demands skills that make catchers good leaders.)
But perhaps most importantly, if everyone gets to bat (And everyone should get to bat.), hitting the ball really takes care of the big need inside. The deep primeval need to hit, to hit something. And when you hit ball with stick, the violent nature beast is fed without negation of another.
Little simu-kills. No big real death.
Now, sometimes the pursuit of the full-on release feelings from hitting the round rock square creates bad vibrations. But the bad vibe that comes from not hitting the ball on the screws only makes you want to try again, try to get that very rare perfect good feeling. The sensation you get when you do hit it good, good, good wood.
Get ready. Throw the ball. I’ll stick whip the ball with focus and force and click the flow feeling through, out, up and all the way out. Look up. See it fly. See them run. Or just turn. Turn heads to watch. They can’t get to there (where it’s going) in time.
Ball hits bat = lifedeathlife.
As the great (Japanese Home Run King) Sadaharu Oh said: “No one can stop it. No one can understand what it really is. Unless you have felt it in your hands and body…as the ball makes its high, long arc beyond the playing field. The diamond and the stands suddenly belong to one man. In that brief, brief time, you are free of all demands and complications.”