Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Biography & Autobiography Sports

The Only Way Is the Steady Way

Essays on Baseball, Ichiro, and How We Watch the Game

by (author) Andrew Forbes

Invisible Publishing
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Sports, Essays, Essays & Writings
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Essays about baseball’s past, present, and future—and the wisdom of Ichiro Suzuki

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.

"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

"Transcendent prose."—Shelf Awareness

About the author

Andrew Forbes was born in Ottawa, Ontario and attended Carleton University. He has written film and music criticism, liner notes, sports columns, and short fiction. His work has been nominated for the Journey Prize, and has appeared in publications including VICE Sports, The Classical, The New Quarterly, and This Magazine. What You Need, his debut collection of fiction, was published by Invisible Publishing in 2015. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

Andrew Forbes' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This essay collection is a rainy-day read of a memoir from a Canadian writer and baseball traditionalist who comprehends the game at an elite observational level, yet writes about it accessibly. He believes watching or listening to a ball game will help soothe the anxieties brought on by the coronavirus. The same could be said for his relaxing, lucid essays."The Globe and Mail

"Transcendent prose."—Shelf Awareness

"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

"A thoughtful consideration of the sport, creatively told through scorecards, baseball cards, and open letters to Ichiro Suzuki, the Japanese-born baseball star whose charismatic personality and achievements in the game have made him a fan favorite for two decades."—Ralph Lauren Mag

"There is calm and preciseness in the observations by Forbes... If Ichiro really is the poetry in motion on a diamond, Forbes adds the polish."—The Drill

"A splendid meditation on life and the game... Forbes’ essays are as consumable as a large tub of popcorn."—Fansided

"Forbes is an accomplished narrator of the game and The Only Way Is the Steady Way is a pleasure that I fully expect to return to whenever I feel a need for a top up. Whether you have grown up surrounded by baseball or been drawn to it from afar, there is much to enjoy."Live Many Lives

"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 opens the dome on inside baseball, bringing to the often stats-rigid game the same warm, curious insight that marks his underrated short fiction."Canadian Notes & Queries

"In these charming essays, Forbes explores how his favourite sport first captured his imagination during his Little League days in the Ottawa suburbs and reflects on his present-day experiences as a father... What really stands out is the downright poetic way Forbes describes concepts like box scores and stats, as well as his loving depiction of baseball as a beautiful, Zen-like source of stillness and equanimity during life’s ups and downs. Even if you’ve never spent a happy night watching from the stands, The Only Way Is the Steady Way will take you there."—Apple Books

"No sport lends itself to reflection more than baseball, and in The Only Way Is the Steady Way Andrew Forbes shines a new light on the sport through his own personal experiences as a baseball fan and one of the more thoughtful thinkers about how baseball informs our world. The storytelling is enough to make this book worth reading, but it’s the introspection and wisdom that makes this book truly special."—Alex Wong, co-author of We the Champs

"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

“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

"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


Other titles by Andrew Forbes