Study Guide

The Art of Fielding Admiration

By Chad Harbach


Baseball is a sport that earns its players great admiration. Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Derek Jeter—these people aren't just star players in some circles, but true sports heroes. Something about the sport turns people into icons, almost like they're great literary characters or something. In The Art of Fielding, the characters are both baseball players and interesting literary figures worthy of admiration.

Questions About Admiration

  1. What qualities does Mike admire in Henry, and how does he help strengthen these qualities?
  2. What do Owen and Guert see in each other? Is it admiration or lust, or a combination of both?
  3. Aparicio Rodriguez is Henry's hero and Aparicio knows it, yet Aparicio doesn't stick around to meet Henry. Why not? Does this affect Henry's admiration of him?

Chew on This

Henry is not used to being admired. He's used to looking up to other people. So when people start thinking he's the best, Henry cracks under the pressure to be the best. He can't live up to the admiration.

Mike, on the other hand, finds something he admires (like Henry) and exploits it in a way that later makes him feel guilty.