When a series of programs about baseball, a series called The Big Picture, began to unfold on television, I quickly came to realize the remarkable similarity between the story of baseball, boxing, and the story of the Baha’i Faith, all of which grew up in the modern age. Indeed, there are many organizations, activities, interests which were born and developed in this modern age, say, since the French and the American revolutions. The points of comparison and contrast between the great charismatic Force which gave birth to the Baha’i Faith and its progressive institutionalization on the one hand, and the origin and development of other movements and organizations on the other, is interesting to observe. -Ron Price with thanks to Ken Burns, “Baseball: Part Two,” ABC TV, 18 February 1999.
They all grew through
forces and processes,
events and realities
in the late eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries:
baseball, boxing, and the
Baha’i Faith grew along
their stony-tortuous paths,
the latter out of the Shaykhi
School of the Ithna’Ashariyyih
Sect of Shi’ah Islam.
And it would be many years
before the Baha’i Faith would
climb to the heights of popularity
that baseball & boxing had achieved
quite early in their history.
Baseball and boxing were games,
activities whose time had come,
hybrid inventions, growths out of
diverse roots, the fields and rings,
the sandlots and arenas of America,
as American as apple pie.
And the Baha’i Faith was an idea
whose time had come, would come,
slowly, it would seem, quite slowly
in the fields, the lounge rooms,
the minds and hearts
of a burgeoning humanity
caught, as it was,
in the tentacles of a tempest
that threatened to blow it apart.
17 February 1999