In what way are baseball and the creation of the world similar? They both start “In the big inning.”
This silly joke still makes me smile, but there is a profound truth in this childhood riddle. The similarities between baseball and religion are very tangible. Think about it. The ballpark is a kind of cathedral where good battles evil (at least in the eyes of the fans on each side), and over the course of the Astros run for the pennant, more prayers have been expressed in the course of the playoffs and World Series, than ever take place in the sanctuary on Shabbat.
Indeed, there is a fundamental connection between baseball and religion. This similarity reflects the capacity of baseball to cause human beings, in a context they don’t think of as religious, to experience something which is purely ordinary and perceive it as extraordinary and maybe even sacred.
Tonight, whether you are an Astros fan or a Dodgers fan, the battle of good versus evil will have a victor. Pray as hard as you can, and let the baseball gods make the final call.