“More than baseball”
In the poem “Black Hair” by Gary Soto the speaker reminisces about a time in his young life when things might have been a little simpler. In great detail he remembers images of when he was eight years old, what he looked like and how he felt at that particular time. Three of the images, “The game before us was more than baseball,” “it was a figure-Hector Moreno quick and hard with turned muscles,” and “in love with those who could do it-the triple and hard slides, the gloves eating balls into double plays,” suggest that baseball was more than just a game to the boy it was an imaginary world.
The first image “The game before us was more than baseball,” shows that the game of baseball meant more to the boy than just bats and baseballs. To him the “game” had more significance or meaning than just what it suggested, to him it was a place that he went to lose himself in his imagination as well as in the actual game. The “game” was something he looked forward to, probably to escape whatever might have been going on in the boy’s life.
The second image “It was a figure-Hector Moreno quick and hard with turned muscles” shows how the boy idolized Hector Moreno and possibly imagined he could be him. The word, “figure,” suggests that the young boy saw Hector Moreno as more than just one of the baseball players, but that he was someone he could look up to as a role model. Hector Moreno represented what the boy wished to grow up to be. When he says “hard with turned muscles” suggests that he sees Hector Moreno as larger than life almost as a fine tuned machine specifically made for the game of baseball or like a warrior.
The third image “In love with those who could do it-the triple and hard slides, the gloves eating balls into double plays” shows that the boy is in “love” which suggest that he admires the athletic abilities of the players. Maybe he wasn’t that athletic so he imagined that he had the abilities of the real players. “The gloves eating balls,” suggest the great speed of the game and the quickness in which the players move and throw the ball. He looked at the players and wished that he had the gift that they possessed to make the game seem so exciting.
The images in the poem show what the game of baseball meant to the young boy at that particular time in his life. Their similarities lie in the use of his imagination and how he used them to escape reality if even for a brief period of time. In his imagination the boy probably wished he had the physique of an athlete like Hector Moreno. He may have also wished that he had the abilities of the players in the game and hope to become one of them and hopefully fill the void in his life.