Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Giamatti on Baseball

Michael McCann of the terrific Sports Law Blog points me to an article on A. Bartlett Giamatti, taking time to comment:
Giamatti served briefly as MLB Commissioner in 1989, but died shortly after being named to the post. He also served as president of the National League from 1986 to 1989, and president of Yale University from 1977 to 1986. Amazingly, he was named president of Yale at the age of 39. Quite a life indeed. It's just too bad that he wasn't alive to have seen his son, Paul, become such a movie star.

In Giamatti's own words on the nexus of law and baseball:
[T]he umpire in baseball has unique stature among sport's arbiters. Spectator and fan alike may, perhaps at times must, object to his judgment, his interpretation, his grasp of precedent, procedure, and relevant doctrine. Such dissent is encouraged, is valuable, and rarely, if ever, is successful. As instant replay shows, very rarely should it be. The umpire is untouchable (there is a law protecting his person) and infallible. He is the much maligned, indispensable, faceless figure of Judgment, in touch with all the codes, the lore, with nature's vagaries, for he decides when she has won. He is the Constitution and Court before your eyes, and he may be the most durable figure in the game for he, alone, never sits, never rests. He has no side, save his obligation to dispense justice speedily.

Link. Maybe I should be an umpire. Or, like, President of Yale at 39.

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