As we come to a close with spring, we reflect on baseball. The birds are chirping, my yard has turned green, all the trees have buds on them, and the crack of the bat can be heard on fields all over the place. Ever since I was a little kid I have loved baseball. I grew up a Pittsburgh Pirates fan mainly because they were good when I was young. When they started to stink I became a Mets fan, then when the Mets turned bad I became an Orioles fan. While that is probably a horrible way to be a fan, more than being a fan of any one team, I am a fan of the game.
Some might think that baseball is boring. And while there is a lack of action, the same can be said about football. How much of that game is spent in a huddle? While the popularity of the sport has decreased over the years and football has seemed to skyrocket, baseball to me still remains the best sport by a mile. Here’s why:
1. It’s the only team sport where there is no time limit. There is no shot clock, there is no play clock, what happens on the field happens slowly, if at all. The MLB is putting rules into place to speed up the game and I have to wonder why. Sure it takes longer to play the game than it did 50 years ago, but how much of the problem lies with our decreased attention spans? With everyone being so connected nowadays, and needing everything to happen instantaneously, isn’t it nice to have something that just kind of unwinds at its own pace?
2. It teaches history. More than any other sport, baseball has a connection to the past. I’ve been to both the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and there is way more history in baseball. There is a romance to it. More than likely it was your grandfather’s favorite sport and your father’s as well. Football is popular nowadays, but families are connected through baseball. I like football and basketball, but they aren’t something that I can pass on to my kids.
3. It sounds better. Unlike football, basketball, and hockey the crowds aren’t always cheering. You can talk to people and actually enjoy yourself. If you have ever been to Wrigley Field in Chicago and heard the crack of the bat you know what I am talking about. You don’t get that in football. Stadiums still have organists, you don’t get that at a basketball game where sometimes the game is secondary to the music that they play.
The weather is better. It’s summer; while you might have to worry about the random rain shower, you will never have to worry about the snow and cold (unless of course your team is playing in the World Series in late October). When boys of summer come out to play every year you know that the weather is getting better. Opening Day might as well be the unofficial first day of summer.
5. You can play it with your kids. Even with the increased popularity of football and basketball, their isn’t a father alive that hasn’t fantasized about playing catch with their kids. I imagine we buy homes with a back yard just so we can toss a ball around. Ever see a father and son throwing a football around or kicking a soccer ball back and forth? Something just doesn’t look right. A catch with a baseball? Now that looks perfect.