For me, For Love of the Game is another book which is better than the movie.
I like the development of Billy Chapel as a reluctant hero in the novel. And the novel resonates with me because I often see life coming down to a moment when a man, or a woman, has to stand his or her ground. The no-hitter is an interesting phenomenon in baseball, a singular moment when one player stands in the spotlight and everything depends upon his ability to be perfect. This provides a new dimension to standing your ground. and beyond what happens in the game, Billy Chapel must stand his ground against the greed of management, a common theme in baseball novels.
Of course, For Love of the Game deals with the subject of aging and this is a subject to which baseball is, perhaps, uniquely suited. Christian Messenger, author of Sports and the Spirit of Play in Contemporary American Fiction, points out baseball is an organic game in that it begins in spring, flowers in summer, and dies in autumn. Every spring provides a new start, new hope. Every summer is an experience of reality, as any Kansas City Royals fan clearly understands, Hope fades, truth triumphs.
And in autumn the season matures. Life narrows, and soon we are down to seven games. All the focus shines on those seven games.
And, all players come and go in a similar rhythm.
So, For Love of the Game is built upon that sweet truth -- we come, we mature, we go.
Of course, Billy Chapel does not go quietly into the night.
Lofflin, posting by voice...