I believe in the church of baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there’s one hundred and eight beads in a Catholic rosary and there’s one hundred and eight stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring, which makes it like sex. There’s never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn’t have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball. You just got to relax and concentrate. Besides, I’d never sleep with a player hitting under .250. Not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there’s a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I get a ballplayer alone, I’ll just read Emily Dickenson or Walt Whitman to him. And the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. Of course, a guy will listen to anything if he thinks it’s foreplay. I make them feel confident and they make me feel safe and pretty. ‘Course what I give them lasts a lifetime. What they give me lasts a hundred and forty two games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball. Who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake! It’s a long season, and you got to trust it. I’ve tried them all, I really have. And the only church that feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the church of baseball.
Bull Durham, Annie Savoy