The Only Way Is the Steady Way: Baseball, Ichiro, and How We Watch the Game

Invisible Publishing / April 2, 2021

The Only Way Is the Steady Way is a baseball memoir in scorecards and baseball cards, a recollection of the game’s biggest stars and outlandish personalities, and introspective letters to a legendary player. These essays examine the meaning of baseball across international borders and at all levels of the game—from Little League diamonds to big league ballparks. Parents learn unexpected lessons at t-ball, cheap souvenirs reveal their hidden significance, and baseball’s beating heart is exposed through sharply beautiful observations about the history of the game. Forbes locates peace, reassurance, and a way to measure the passage of time with home run bonanzas, old games on YouTube, and especially in the unique career of beloved outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.

Just as he did in The Utility of Boredom, Forbes shows us how a summertime distraction might help us to make sense of the world, and how a certain enigmatic Japanese superstar offers a surprising ethos for living.

Praise for The Only Way Is the Steady Way:

The Only Way Is the Steady Way turns Andrew Forbes loose as a writer, and what emerges is a collage of emotion and clever observation of baseball’s larger meaning. His writing is poetic, imbued with nostalgia, and another reminder that baseball is the most literary of sports.

—Brad Balukjian, author of The Wax Pack: On the Open Road In Search of Baseball’s Afterlife

Andrew Forbes writes so well about everything, with such a keen eye for detail and the texture of life, that you can sometimes forget that the occasion for these essays is baseball. And yet, there he always is, like a nimble infielder, with a fresh insight or deft turn on the game. There is no other writer working now whose baseball writing I admire more. This companion to The Utility of Boredom is a true gift.

—Mark Kingwell, author of Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters and On Risk

“You don’t have to love (or even like) baseball to love The Only Way Is the Steady Way. Forbes’ writing about baseball, something he’s loved his entire life, transcends statistics, standings, highlight reels, and hype, and captures soul—not the soul of the game, but the soul of fandom. If you do love baseball, or have had any fond feelings about the game at some point in your life, you will find your feelings put into writing in the pages of this book. Baseball may not save the world, but this book will remind you that it does indeed matter.”

—Brendan Leonard, author of The Art of Getting Lost

You do this for long enough, and you begin to crave originality like a desert wanderer craves cool clear water. Andrew Forbes’s essays are cool and clear and may well slake the thirst of any thinking baseball fan.

—Rob Neyer, author of Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game

“Andrew Forbes’s love of baseball is the most honest and difficult kind: clear-eyed, thoughtful, willing to see the flaws along with the beauty. This book is a beauty. Through the lens of Ichiro Suzuki’s magnificent career, Forbes examines our potential and our prejudices, helping us see the times that make the game and the game that makes the times.”

—Scott O’Connor, author of Zero Zone and Untouchable