From chapter four, describe what kind of atmosphere is created at empty baseball stadium.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The spiritual dimension of the love for baseball that has been a part of the narrative is evoked in the atmospheric descriptions of the empty baseball stadium.  For example, the atmosphere of a ballpark is described as “A ballpark at night is more like a church than a church."  This helps to reinforce how Ray views spiritual identity. For Ray, baseball and the pure love he has for it is more spiritual than institutional religion.  Ray sees a ballpark at night, devoid of people and yet filled with symbolic imagery that operates as religious iconography, as filled with more religious identity than a formal church.  Ray indicates how much he detests the trappings that go along with organized religion:  "The kind of people I absolutely cannot tolerate are those, like Annie’s mother, who never let you forget they are religious.”  For Ray, the openness and inclusivity of spiritual identity that is present in an empty ballpark embraces more of a purely religious notion of identity than anything that organized religion could offer.  This atmosphere speaks to reclamation of identity and redemption in a world that precludes it. Describing this wonder as a "pyramid," the atmosphere that is created in an empty baseball stadium is where miracles and magic can happen.