Baseball is worst offender among sports that love to pump themselves full of meaning. However, this video is proof that baseball can truly be more than just the game on the field.
Reporter Charlie LeDuff, in another installment of his The Americans With Charlie LeDuff, visited San Quentin Prison and saw another A's-Giants rivalry behind bars.
Baseball has been played at San Quentin since the 1920s, but most of the games are now mainly against outside free men who visit the prison. However, Opening Day at San Quentin is between the two inmate teams: the A's and the Giants.
Unlike most baseball puff pieces, LeDuff's video doesn't need any additional schmaltz to show you how important the game is to some people. To the prisoners at San Quentin, some of them doing time for murder, the game is the closest they can get to an escape from the life behind bars. The game might also build character among those that play. LeDuff says that 98% those that played and get paroled do not go back.
San Quentin's baseball league is entirely funded by donations and doesn't use any taxpayer money. To make a donation, contact Elliot Smith or Mike Deeble at [email protected].