3 Questions

3 Questions With Artist/Writer Scott Christopher

Athlete turned author’s new book swings for the fences

Scott Christopher had 10 minutes to live when he fell on a glass bottle during a baseball game as a 6-year-old. He cut arteries and tendons in his right hand, rendering him unable to pick up a baseball. Still passionate about the sport, Christopher was determined to overcome his injuries and continue playing. He recounts this experience and his rise to professional baseball as an MVP with the Baltimore Orioles following the incident in his 2023 memoir Baseball, Art and Dreams. Christopher will give an author talk and book signing from 1 to 4 pm, March 30 at High Noon General Store (213 Galisteo St. highnoongeneralstore.com) The following interview has been edited for clarity and concision. (Evan Chandler)

What can people who attend the event expect?

There will be Cracker Jacks. Just come on and get your Cracker Jacks and visit. But my intention and hope and dream is that anyone who reads my book…will come out with at least one tool that’s going to add to their enlightenment. My hope is that they will come and visit.

In my talk, I’m just going to highlight what it takes. And there’s different ways. I’ve always thought that the enlightenment of the individual is the center of this medicine wheel, which is yours. It’s not that there’s a set way, but it’s going to show that it’s possible because it shouldn’t have been possible. The guests that come to my talk are going to get an insider view of the book and the game. They will leave knowing that dreams are real, and they will find moments in my talk that they can apply to themselves. I’m using baseball as a metaphor, and people love baseball. They can go, ‘Well, hmm, that’s something to accomplish what he did with a very handicapped hand.’

I imagine after you had tripped and fallen on that bottle, you probably weren’t immediately thinking you were going to be a one-in-a-million case. How does one overcome a major setback and still continue to aim higher?

You have to take what life hands you. We’re all given different hands, and some of those gut punches just send you to the canvas. One of the constants in life is change. I couldn’t throw a baseball for two years and playing the game of baseball was basically off the table. And it was something that I loved. I loved athletics and I loved competing. It was just something within me. In rehabilitation, there was so much that my parents had to do, and they were so committed to bringing my hand back to where I could basically use it. There will be these moments in life we all have—whether or not you recognize them is a different story—but the dream I have with my book is that people will become inspired. They can have a handicap and live their dream. They can have dreams and put them in the drawer for a while. They can come up with new dreams. There is absolutely no benchmark.

You make several references in your book to baseball as a ‘magic art.’ What specific elements of the sport appear artistic to you?

To start, the architecture of the stadiums. I would just study them and I would see these different things. You’d have negative space and beautiful structures and the seats and the field itself. My art is abstract and intuitive. It’s a real range, but I do like to put in geometrics and abstracts, and the way a field was designed always intrigued me…In baseball, it’s even in the human part—in what you have to do as an athlete. There are so many players, and there’s so much strategy. There’s a very magical artistic piece to all sports, but in baseball, it was heightened because you got a guy on the mound, he’s coming in and you’ve got to make instantaneous decisions. You’ve got to pick up the rotation. So it’s all art.

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