Sports analogies can be overdone, but Lou Brock probably made diabetes a little easier to understand when he compared his struggles with the disease to his experiences on the baseball diamond.

Brock, a former Louisiana resident and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, was in Baton Rouge recently to speak at the Louisiana Diabetes Summit at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Brock, a former St. Louis Cardinal, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at age 60. Brock embraced the challenge of diabetes by thinking of it in baseball terms.

“What is fair play? Fair play means I’m controlling my diabetes,” Brock told listeners.

Brock’s message — that diabetes is a controllable illness — is one worth heeding, especially here in Louisiana, where indicators on public health typically lag far below the national average.

Regular visits to the doctor can help advance early detection of diabetes, a critical step in getting the disease under control. Brock’s advice about sensible diet as a key part of controlling diabetes is also important — although challenging to hear in food-indulgent south Louisiana.

We’re glad that Brock visited Louisiana to discuss diabetes. We hope his stature helped focus some attention on a disease that claims lives, yet doesn’t have to.