Catching foul balls are just one of the many memories made at a baseball game

Baseball: has its time passed?

January 31, 2019

First created in 1839, baseball quickly rose to be a sport of passion and an American pastime for generations to come. Game after game, people found themselves increasingly interested in this new game, viewership of the sport peaking in the late 20th century, with over 40 million viewers. Since then, however, baseball has began to waver in the eyes of the American people. To some this sport is still beloved, however, and since we had differing opinions on this subject, we set out to try and find an answer to the question of if baseball is still America’s pastime.

Eston Williams: against baseball

Sometimes, I will watch as my grandpa intensely stares at a baseball game on T.V, and when I see the passion he has for such a meaningless activity, I die a little bit on the inside. I just don’t see how anyone could find baseball engaging in the slightest. From an onlookers perspective, progress within the individual games feels overwhelmingly lethargic- simply put: not many things happen. Just dudes hitting balls with sticks over and over, running from base to base, doing the same thing, again and again.

The most entertainment I can ever get out of the game is observing as balls fly aimlessly into the grandstands and watch as spectors battle over who is to claim the prized leather spheres as their own. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of skill required to perform well in this sport, but that’s sort of true with anything played “professionally”. My gripe isn’t necessarily with the sport being “boring” perse, it’s with the overwhelming praise granted to the game and its players by the American people as being extremely complex and worth the die-hard dedication.

Not only do I seem to find myself losing interest in baseball year after year, the American people seem to as well. World Series viewership has dropped nearly 40% since its peak in 1986. MLB attendance dropped below 70 million this year, the first time it’s done so in 15 years Along with this, ratings are also observing a similar downward trend as the majority of America has begun to lose interest in this once staple sport.  

Baseball will likely maintain its position as the sport of America for years to come. As time goes on, generation after generation will certainly hear of baseball legends such as the likes of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, while raising their own along the way. Ultimately, the impact baseball has on the American people rides on the shoulders of you, the viewer, the spectator, the one and only saviour of baseball.

Overall, it’s up to you to decide if baseball is still a hit. Whether you see it on the surface, or look beneath it and view it as a thinking man’s game, baseball will still always have and hold weight in American history.


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Matt La Rocco: for baseball

I’m not going to attempt to make or defend the claim that baseball is the most popular sport- because it isn’t. I will, however, defend baseball’s spot as America’s sport, and explain why it’s enjoyable.

Baseball isn’t boring, it just takes time to understand, which can make it hard to get into. Some people want to sit down and watch sports without having to think, which is understandable. It’s slow paced, but that’s part of why it’s great. The popular saying “baseball’s a thinking man’s game” is true. It’s complicated, much more complicated than hitting a ball with a bat. Matchups, shifts, platoons, these things are big parts of the game, and why it’s exciting.

The game itself isn’t the entire reason why watching baseball is enjoyable. MLB’s broadcasters are a level above the rest. The greatest example of this is Vin Scully. Vin Scully was a Dodgers’ broadcaster for over 60 years. His storytelling and voice were heard throughout generations. Vin Scully is cemented in baseball history for making calls like Hank Aaron’s record breaking home run, and Kirk Gibson limping around the bases in 1988; Those moments are also why baseball’s amazing. It has history that no sport has. Dave Roberts, Craig Counsell, Steve Pearce, were by no means superstars, but legends and will be remembered for a singular moment in their careers. Moments like these are why baseball’s so great; at any point in time, history could be made with one pitch, whether it’s Mike Trout standing at the plate, or your league average player.

Baseball’s different from the other major sports in that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, or who you are. If you work and put in dedication, you can be successful. It’s easier to play football if your big, and almost impossible if your small. You don’t see 5’6 NBA players. Baseball is a very diverse sport. Bartolo Colon, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Altuve are all very different shaped people yet have all found success in the big leagues.. The fact that Giancarlo Stanton (really big), and Jose Altuve (really small) are both mentioned as some of the sport’s elite players speaks to the American dream. This is the biggest reason why baseball is America’s sport. America is the melting pot country; players come from all over the world with dreams of making it in the show, some even risking their lives getting here.

Overall, it’s up to you to decide if baseball is still a hit. Whether you see it on the surface, or look beneath it and view it as a thinking man’s game, baseball will still always have and hold weight in American history.

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