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Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark
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Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Baseball is a strange sport: it consists of long periods in which little seems to be happening, punctuated by high-energy outbursts of rapid fire activity. Because of this, despite ever greater profits, Major League Baseball is bent on finding ways to shorten games, and to tailor baseball to today's shorter attention spans. But for the true fan, baseball is always ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  73 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Gregory
Jul 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
Alva Noe's Infinite Baseball: Notes From a Philosopher at the Ballpark sounds so intriguing. What you get, though, is a hodgepodge of previously published pieces with a tacked on introduction. By the time I got through the introduction, I was already getting disappointed. One theme he comes back to is that baseball is a game of responsibility--we're always trying to assign credit or blame for what happens. Such credit or blame ultimately takes the form of numbers, but baseball is in his eyes not ...more
Ken
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely my kind of book! As infinite as it is, I didn’t want it to end! It won’t appeal to everyone, but if you love baseball and contemplating its meaning in the world at large, this will spark your thinking and light up your imagination.
Will
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and wasn't sure what to expect. I am no fan of philosophy, but I love baseball. The chapters are short essays on various topics that make it easy to read. I don't always agree with the author's position, but what he writes is usually thought provoking. My favorite section was called "Making Peace With Our Cyborg Nature" It took on PED usage, Tommy John surgeries, and other techniques used to enhance or improve a player and how we determine what is ...more
Andrew
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book brings together pieces on baseball and philosophy written by the author for NPR's 13.7: Cosmos and Culture website. It's argument, basically, is that baseball (unlike other sports) is about agency and responsibility: who did what, and how did his action affect the game? Baseball, then, is a forensic game, constituted not only by the action on the field but also the narration of the game in scorecards and scoreboards and newspapers. The practice of narrating baseball is not a ...more
Dan Trefethen
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball, essays
This was a quick and fun read. The author's main premise is that the true fan (and participant) views baseball not only in terms of who won, but how to assign credit or blame for the actions observed. Hit, or error? Sacrifice bunt, or bunt for a base? Earned, or unearned run?

He also feels that baseball is not boring for those who understand what is really happening and care about the above questions. Baseball fans will enjoy this book. Others will, well, find it boring. But it's unlikely they
...more
Michael
Aug 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: baseball, i-give-up
I am now apparently a sucker for new books about baseball - at least giving them a try from the local public library. I didn't spend any of my $$ on this.

This is a collection of essays about conundrums in the author's thinking about baseball. It starts out with what I would consider to be the "usual suspect" type topics, such as "do we need to speed up baseball?" I was engaged enough to continue reading until I got to the discussion of PED usage by baseball players, when the author argues (more
...more
Pia
Jul 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
I don’t think I ever got over the fact that this guy spelled Joe Panik’s name wrong throughout one of the first essays. And no one else on the editorial staff caught it! Ugh. As a San Francisco Giants fan that left me butt-hurt. His metaphors were too overextended and I really disagree with a lot of his observations. I kind of expected this book to sound a lot like having a conversation with a friend with whom you share a love for baseball (a la some of the really great gems on Bleacher Report) ...more
fumi
May 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give this book to a baseball fan friend of mine as a gift (who is a philosopher as well). Just in case, I read a kindle version of it beforehand. I saved myself an embarrassment. I was extremely disappointed by its superficial nature, shortness, repetitiveness, and lack of any new insights. Not to mention the sentimentality at the end. I guess every man reaches that age at some point…Well, it’s better than a book on midlife crisis, at least.
Linda
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. My brother-in-law is a huge fan of the Phillies and has an interest in baseball stadiums. I gave this book to him for his birthday. He immediately started reading it and shared some of his favorite parts of it with us. It was the perfect gift for him!
Marion
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
Overall, I found this to be an interesting book on baseball and philosophy. His analysis of the game provided a unique perspective for me. Some of the essays were redundant and some were less appealing to me than others.
Kellyanne
Full review to come, but I haven’t truly connected with a book this much in a while.
Paul Smith
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. The author shared a lot of his thoughts about baseball and compared it with many different life factors. Great reading for baseball fans.
Travis Coverston
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good thinking man's book based around baseball. Some tangents about the author's life, but mostly insightful discussion that involves thought about the way the game functions and is played.
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Alva Noë (born 1964) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. The focus of his work is the theory of perception and consciousness. In addition to these problems in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind, he is interested in phenomenology, the theory of art, Wittgenstein, and the origins of analytic philosophy.