THE PHILOSOPHY OF BASEBALL: How to Play the Game of Life

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Western philosophy began with two monumental aspirations: to unravel the mysteries of the universe and to construct the best recipe for living the good life. Today, sports play a major role in the lives of many people. A striking correlation exists between the noblest virtues of baseball and discussions of living the good life by the greatest thinkers in the history of philosophy.

The book explains the nine virtues of playing and eleven commandments of coaching baseball. These virtues and commandments are then connected to the best ways to live the good life according to the wisdom of classical and contemporary philosophers such as Camus, Epictetus, Gramsci, Machiavelli, Marx, Nietzsche, Nozick, Plato, Sartre, Schopenhauer, Socrates, and Unger.


“ ... Anyone with a love of baseball should be drawn to this book and should develop an interest in philosophy as well from reading it. Dr. Belliotti has carefully chosen the philosophers he summarizes and critiques, and such readers will be surprised by the relevance of this philosophy to baseball and life outside both baseball and philosophy ... Baseball and other sports not only engage us, but challenge us on many levels. Meeting these challenges, becoming as good a player and team member as one can, is a legitimate goal and source of satisfaction. As the author points out, happiness more generally results from reflection on successes in meeting challenges on a continuous basis ...” – Professor Alan H. Goldman, The College of William and Mary, Virginia

“Still blaming Bill Buckner for 1986? Read Sartre. Afraid of standing in against a Mariano [Rivera] cutter? Read Nietzsche. Are the gods of baseball unjust to Chicago Cubs fans? Read the Stoics. In this work, Dr. Belliotti weaves in old and new treasures from the deep vaults of Western philosophy to give us a more intelligent understanding of the proper way to play and understand America’s national game. But the real beauty of this book is his emphasis on the ‘three-tool’ players and angst-ridden coaches of high school and sandlot ball. It’s not the superstar, but the average person who needs philosophy the most. If you’ve ever missed the cut-off man, held your befuddled player at third base on an obvious sacrifice fly, or regularly argued with your favorite baseball team’s sportscasters, you could use some help. Philosopher, coach, and die-hard fan, Dr. Belliotti gently leads us to higher ground. Read this book and pray for rain!” – Professor Eric Bronson, Berkeley College, New York; editor, Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter’s Box

“Dr. Ray Belliotti has hit a home run. The inspiration for this book was the baseball journey that the author and his son, Angelo, have made through the latter’s experience in competition baseball from Little League through summer traveling and high school baseball teams ... Since the author coached youth baseball, he also brought to his coaching and this book the perspective of an accomplished philosopher. As a result, this is a book that should have many audiences. Baseball coaches should read it before every season. If they do, they will be reminded about their responsibilities as coaches and the values they can impart to their players. Sports historians, sociologists, and philosophers will also find this book intriguing … For those readers who played baseball, the stories [in this book] will encourage them to reflect on the rich variety of their experiences. I promise you that he will cause you to think about the meaning of baseball and sport.” – Professor Adolph A. Grundman, Metropolitan State College of Denver

Table of Contents

Foreword by Alan H. Goldman
First Inning: Baseball and Character
Second Inning: No Excuses
Third Inning: Play with Honor
Fourth Inning: Be Relentless
Fifth Inning: Overcome Your Demons
Sixth Inning: Take Responsibility
Seventh Inning: Play the Game One Pitch at a Time
Seventh Inning Stretch: Focus on Process, not Outcomes
Eighth Inning: The Best Players are the Best Learners
Ninth Inning: Be a Joyous Warrior
Extra Inning: The Eleven Commandments of Coaching

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