On the Cosmic Dimensions of Major League Baseball

It’s that time of year for the Boys of Summer to come out of hibernation and throw the ball, hit the ball, and catch the ball. For me, a klutzy waif, that means it’s time to discuss the sacred measurements of the game.

Why is a baseball field set up the way it is? I don’t know, as I wasn’t at that meeting, but we can hit a few fungos at the experts, through the magical lens of cosmic symbolism, and maybe someone will field the ball.

The infield of a baseball field has been the same, more or less, since the 1870’s, with some minor alterations. The most important part – the “diamond,” with four bases, has always remained constant as a square of 90 feet sides, at 90° angles, according to the Knickerbocker rules of 1845.

Why 90 feet and not 100? Or 80? No one knows, but we do know that the total feet of the perimeter of the diamond is standardized at 360 feet, and this should give us a clue, as the standard number of degrees in a circle is 360°

360° comes from ancient celestial cartography, dating back to the ancient Middle East. We are told that 360 became a standard because there are about 360 days in a year, though that is not the only reason. 360 was a handy number with which to divide circles into wedges without getting irrational numbers like “3.3333…”. 360 is easily divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 with products as whole numbers. We can’t do that with an even “100.”

The zodiac wheel is comprised of 12 signs that measure 30° in arc, for a total of of 360°. That wheel is also divided by four, into segments of 90°, called “quadrants.” Those 90° increments are notched by “cardinal points,” signifying directions — north, south, east, and west, but also the equinoxes and solstices — which are designated as 0° Aries (the fiducial starting point), 0° Cancer (90°), 0° Libra (180°), and 0° Capricorn (270°).

The Major League Baseball season does start near the beginning of spring, so perhaps we could say that the line from home plate to 1st base represents spring, the line from 1st to 2nd summer, the line from 2nd to 3rd fall, and the final line from 3rd back to home is winter, completing a baseball “season”; the only way to score a run is to touch the bases all four cardinal points. Overlapping the infield on the zodiac:

Baseball is the USA’s “national pastime,” and to ensure that, our Congress declared that Major League Baseball be exempt from anti-trust legislation since 1922. This exemption has been upheld by the Supreme Court. It also gives Congress the right to investigate the MLB, to ensure that exemption is not being used to thwart other laws, as was the case when they investigated steroid abuse during the mid-aughts.

Washington DC itself is (or, was once) shaped like a baseball diamond:

Note that there are 40 boundary stones that defined Washington DC, each placed a mile apart from one another, as the boundary is ten miles square. (360 / 40 = 9, which will be important in a bit.) So, who did this? We all know that some of our Founding Fathers were freemasons, with the most important being Ben Franklin, and their basic symbol is the square-and-compass:

Eagle Rock Lodge #19 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

Was the Knickerbockers, who conjured up some freemasonic astrology for the baseball field, connected to the secret society of Freemasons? Baseball was intended to be a “gentleman’s game,” and the masons were all about making gentlemen out of brutes.

If the “diamond” is really a square, symbolizing the 90° square in masonry, then the pitcher’s mound — an 18-foot diameter circle — may be representing the compass. The pitcher’s rubber — placed 18 inches behind the center of the mound — is 60 feet and 6 inches from home plate, perhaps representing the ideal angle of the compass at 60°:

There are masons who will tell us that the compass should be spread 36°, but even that is 18 x 2 and 360/10.

Baseball has a lot of nines in it besides the number of feet between plates and the radius of the pitcher’s mound. The defense fields 9 players. There are 9 innings. The number of games in a season is 162, with 81 played at home and 81 on the road. 81 is 92. It wasn’t always 162, however. It used to be a bit less, but expansion in the leagues meant:

“After the first expansion, each team had nine rivals rather than seven, and the 154-game season made for bad math,” MLB’s official historian, John Thorn, explains. To play 22 games against each rival would require an 198-game season, so MLB settled on 18 games per rival for nine rivals, for a total of 162 games.

There’s nothing quite like taking it to the nines in baseball!

The 360-foot perimeter of bases even has a connection to USA football, as I recently posted. The length of the field is 120 yards, or 360 feet, which consists of the 100-yard gridiron section, and two 10-yard endzones. A first down requires 10 yards of gain, or 30 feet – 1/12th of 360.

The diameter of the circumscribed 90 foot squared infield is: [90 × (sq root of 2) × pi], or, just shy of 400 feet (~399.86′). The rules require that the wall at center field be 400 feet from home plate.

Center Field at Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL, USA

There are four bases, and four balls gets a batter a walk. The ages-old mystery of “squaring the circle” and the value of “pi” has been an obsession of civilized peoples, so, why not have that be part of the game?

It should be mentioned here that the standard format of an astrology “chart” in the European and English realms of old were diamond-shaped, rather than circular, mainly for the sake of simplicity:

Astrology chart. 16th-century astrological chart of Edward VI of England (1537-1553). Edward was King of England from the age of nine until his death aged fifteen from a severe lung disease (possibly tuberculosis). This woodcut chart is from the 1570 edition of ‘Ephemerides novae’ by the Flemish astronomer, astrologer and mathematician Johannes Stadius (c.1527-1579). The chart is divided into twelve areas and includes symbols showing zodiacal constellations and the positions of various heavenly bodies (the planets, Moon and Sun), usually as they appeared at the time of the subject’s birth.

So, there you have it – baseball is played on a symbolic zodiac (as is USA football, obtusely), in reverence to American freemasonry, according to the button-down mind of Ed Kohout. The fields of our two major sports are based (pun intended) at the core of sacred measures: the shapes, rules, and attendant mathematics are astro-numerological.

Baseball players are sometimes “all-stars,” who play in the “midsummer classic,” or All-Star Game, right after the 4th of July break. What else could we call the fellows that play on grids that are homages to where the gods play? What say ye, George Will?

– Ed.

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