Published: March 31, 2016
Since its inception, baseball has captivated audiences across the globe, and it has even earned the moniker “America’s past time.” Last year’s pro season ended with a wild World Series that saw the New York Mets come up short against the Kansas City Royals.
The Major League Baseball season will begin this week.
Although the sport is slow-paced, tactical and at times, even boring, baseball is still in fact, ultra-popular in the United States, and it deserves more respect than it gets.
Growing up, I despised baseball. I had little-to-no interest in the sport as a whole, dubbing the entire activity “boring.” In my personal and humble opinion, it paled in comparison to sports like football.
Even when my favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies, won the World Series in 2008, I was largely apathetic. My attitude toward the sport remained generally the same until high school. Once I began seeing my friends on both the softball and baseball teams go through tumultuous practices, tryouts and games, I started to get a newfound respect for the sport that is as American as apple pie.
Since then, I have become someone who respects baseball, and dare I even say, a fan.
I am now able to appreciate the game from a mental standpoint, and I am able to understand why so many people enjoy the sport. The game, in and of itself, is a cerebral one that requires quick thinking for success. Unlike basketball, where the sole objective is to put the ball in the basket, baseball players must take into consideration the context of a play. A bunt may have been appropriate during the first inning, but the same play may be disastrous in the third.
Aside from the sport itself, baseball has produced a number of historically significant events. The most notable historical event is arguably Jackie Robinson’s inclusion in the league. He was the first African-American to play in the MLB, and he helped break down racial boundaries.
Other than the historical implications, there is a certain, unique entertainment factor that comes from the MLB. While the personalities of major league players may not be as bombastic as Rob Gronkowski of the NFL or J.R. Smith of the NBA, personalities such as Bryce Harper and David Ortiz make the MLB compelling from a media standpoint. There is a certain, perhaps subtle, showmanship element in baseball, as well—there may not be “Dabbing,” but the “bat flip” is prominent.
Perhaps the best thing about baseball is that it is the quintessential summertime sport, so to speak. During the dog days of summer, you can turn on a game in the first inning, fall asleep by the third and wake up with the game still going on. And truthfully, how can you beat going to a game and enjoying the atmosphere?
As an American, there is nothing that compares to getting some good food and drinks, and taking in a baseball game with your friends or family.
While it will always get panned by critics for being too slow or too boring, there is no denying the fact that baseball is woven into American culture, and it is not going away any time soon, especially with the summer mere months away.
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