From: Cross Lanes WV USA
Jim, I started out as a board wargamer when I was maybe ten or eleven, and became a baseball fan/gamer relatively late in life, in my mid-twenties. My first-attended major-league game was at Three Rivers. That's how I became attached to the Pirates. The first player I became fascinated with was Tony Pena. He gave everything he had and did it for the love of the game, even though the team was not very good. This was in the mid-eighties, and MLB was having some serious problems. Nevertheless, here's this guy who's playing his heart out, and AFAIK, he never had any of the stigma of drug use that made headlines and threatened the integrity of the game. That stuck with me.
I keep in mind George Carlin's classic routine on Baseball vs Football: "In football, the object is to take the enemy's territory. In baseball, the object is to go home...in football, you have the blitz and the bomb. In baseball, you have the sacrifice..."
While it's a funny routine, as I'm getting older I'm finding more analogies between baseball as war vs football as a campaign within a war. In baseball, the long season is like a war, in which you can lose battles but still win the ultimate victory (the World Series), as long as you keep casualties (injuries) to a minimum, have better soldiers (players), and have a better commander (manager). A bit of luck doesn't hurt in either case.