Last week the New York Yankees won the baseball World Series. As I sat watching them celebrate I couldn’t help but think about how much baseball is like marriage. (Ok. Actually, it was a bit later that the thought occurred to me… as I found some nacho cheese on my wedding band, but that didn’t sound as interesting.) I realize that analogies can sometimes get out of hand so for this post I’m going to highlight areas where marriage and baseball are, and are not, alike.

Teamwork – Yes. This is the obvious one but bear with me. I think this year’s World Series was a great picture of teamwork. The Yankees roster is filled with highly touted, highly paid stars, but no single individual stepped up to take over the series. Several of their “stars” struggled at various times, but different players performed when they had to. In fact, the MVP of the series was a hitter that doesn’t even play in the field anymore. This is definitely how a marriage should work. One can be up when the other is down. Unfortunately, some spouses feel more like a sidekick (think Batman’s Robin) than a teammate. If you’re the “star” of your marriage, then you may want to change something before you strike out.

Uniforms – No. Marriages do not need uniforms. If you are contemplating buying matching sweaters or entire outfits (egad!) please reconsider. Matching outfits may be cute for teenagers who are dating, but with married couples it leaves you looking more like siblings than lovers. Don’t do it. (Not even pinstripes.)

Hard Work – Yes. I enjoyed some of the comments of the players after the win talking about how hard they had worked to get there. I’m sure that’s true. Nobody makes a World Series roster without putting a lot of hard work into learning their skill. (Let’s forget, for the sake of this analogy, that the losing team also worked really hard.) Marriage takes a lot of work. We seem to forget sometimes that all relationships take work. They require our time and energy and our willingness to make changes. Marriages are no different in this regard.

Batboys – Uh, Maybe. Marriages could all benefit from having a bat boy. The bat boy’s job is to run out on the field and pick up the bats after the players throw them down. Even single households could use a bat boy to run around and pick up stuff. I’m pretty sure this is one of the main reasons that some couples choose to have children. In the long run, though, it is probably cheaper to hire a maid.

Ice Cream in Helmet Bowls – Yes. Yes. Double Yes. One of the really cool things at baseball games is that they sell ice cream in these little bowls shaped like a batting helmet. And the best part is that you get to keep the helmet bowl! If good relationships are analogous to having a great bowl of ice cream, then marriage is like having that ice cream in an awesome helmet bowl. It truly can be that fantastic.

I realize I may have missed some of the more obvious similarities such as the value of communication or the importance of showers, but I wanted to keep this post short. In my opinion, the most important similarity has to do with why most baseball players play the game – they love it. If you’re married today then you are already playing the game. You started playing it because of love. Keep that at the heart of it all. If you’ve lost some of that as the season goes on, take a break from the things that are absorbing your time and make a commitment to love again. The reward is worth it.

Now it’s your turn. What other analogies did I miss between baseball and marriage?