My grandfather and father always taught us that baseball was a very simple and non complicated game: hit a pitched ball, run, slide and score; the one with the most runs after the 9 innings was the winner. That is what I believe today because even with all the crap going on, the game is still that bottom line description and the one with the most runs wins the game. If he was a purist then that is what I was taught. Just before he died in 1980, he died 25 years after Shoeless Joe, he told me that he had always considered himself the keeper of the faith in regards to baseball.His father before him and my great, great grandfather also considered themselves the keeper. They loved to play baseball in any form. If my great grandfather had lived longer I am certainly sure that he would have continued to play softball until he died after the second World War. I wish I could play today at 92, but I must make myself happy playing with my great, great grandchildren and great grandchildren around the house and in the back yard. I still teach all my grandchildren how to hit the ball and in some cases how to pitch if they ask me later on. Ten years ago one of my great grandchildren wanted to know how to pitch in Little League, so I took him to the pitching cage at the local high school and showed him how to throw a number of pitches from a drop curve to a moving/rising fastball. At 82, I could still get the ball over the plate from 60 feet, but not with much on it except a slow moving curve. My son prior to leaving for the service was a pretty good hitter and pitcher in his own right and he learned at my knee and from Ted and Joe during his early childhood. But keeper of the faith I will continue to be until it is my turn to join all my friends and family and before then I will turn the job over to either my son or grandson, both of which love the game as much as I do.
Baseball is a game that all can play and enjoy, no matter what age or gender. It has continued to be simple with plain rules that haven't changed since it started and hopefully will continue to be played under the same guidelines as it has been playing over a 100 years. People or fans of the game truly understand that even with all the stuff around it today, television, radio, internet, sponsorships, moron commissioners and the such the simple truth to it is always the bottom line of rules: (1) Pitch the ball (2) Hit the pitched ball (3) Run the bases (4) Score runs... and the winner will always be the team that scores the most runs in the game.
Keep the Faith and let us continue to play ball..