Matt La Rocco: for baseball

Matt La Rocco, Reporter

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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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