Baseball has always been the sport that evokes nostalgic feeling among American people. There is no similar athletic activity that can be paired with bacon most of the time when it comes to symbolizing the world’s most powerful nation.
Though the sport was considered “the national pastime,” it will always be a democratic game. Compared to basketball and football, baseball can be played by people who are average in weight and height. Thus, there will be minimal restrictions in order to be part of the historical sport.
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Baseball Has Always Had That “Effect” on America
If you are a millennial, you would likely think that basketball is the main sport of the country, especially now that you are limited when it comes to historical accounts. Did you know that as early as the mid-1800s, baseball has been considered a very important sport in America?
One proof is when Jacquez Barzun, a well-known social commentator in the ‘80s, stated that anyone who aims to know the heart and mind of the United States must learn baseball. From this fact alone, you will already see that even wars during that time never put a halt on Major League Baseball. As explained by Barzun, it is possible for the sport to be hindered by itself solely.
The teamwork practiced in baseball actually represents the unified efforts of Americans in facing the challenges ahead.Despite the conflicts between nations and the Depression, everyone chose to work together and focus on triumphs.
How Baseball Illustrates American Government’s History
There is more to baseball than serving as a replica of the unification of the country against the societal problems along its way. In truth, the sport has also given implication to the changes the American government had gone through.
Major League Baseball’s Background
Before a major league was made, the American and National League were considered different organizations until the year 2000. Prior to 1903, the two groups were distinctive leagues. Only in 1903 that they cooperated to work with one another. However, you can see that it took approximately a century before they merged.
During the said time when the American and National League were not united, it is also the period wherein development of work unions also took place.
Cease of Segregation
Baseball in America was also led by separate leagues, such as in terms of race. There have been Negro leagues, which are meant to separate African Americans.
However, the period Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement in the country is also around the same time that Jackie Robinson joined baseball. If you are not aware of how legendary Robinson is, this video will give you insights:
From the given facts above, you cannot clearly say that the events have direct relationship with each other. Still, to some extent, the changes in the American society were clearly glinted by the sport.
Challenges for the Well-Loved Sport
Despite the years-long existence of the sport, its future is still questionable. According to experts, the major hurdle for baseball is its measured pace in the quickly progressing society. It was recorded that in 2014, games last for about three hours and two minutes on average. The record is totally far from 1981’s two hours and 33 minutes.
Due to the slower stride of the game, there have been fewer home runs scored. Americans have been used to an entertainment where a fast bustle is present. Most likely, baseball may fail in this part.
Furthermore, there is also a fact that there are now fewer celebrity athletes that are drawing attention to the sport. This crisis may have started when Derek Jeter retired at the end of the 2014 season.
To make things worse, the most recent survey of American youths was released by ESPN pertaining to most favorite sports figures. The results showed that no baseball player is listed in the top 30.
Will Baseball Stay in America?
It was touted that baseball will no longer stay in America. The sport may have lost its spark in the country but it does not mean it will be forgotten. In truth, it will become an international game. The forecast shows that the sport will belong to the world now.
This year, the World Baseball Classic includes a list of countries as competitors, which made the tournament historical than ever. Cuba, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Japan, the Dominican Republic, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Taiwan, Venezuela, Australia, and of course, the United States were part of the lineup.
According to the State of Baseball survey conducted in March 2017, which was led by Benenson Strategy Group, half of more than 1,000 respondents find the sport boring and slow. By a ratio of two to one, younger people consider football as America’s game.
Baseball has to win over the nurturing millennial generation to prevent tumbling into ambivalence. As younger people get engaged in the sport, the sport has to make tweaks that will make the activity more exciting. It seems Major League Baseball is already doing its part, particularly by allotting more concentration on the Little League, which gives young fans more access to baseball.
Conclusively, it is yet to be seen whether baseball will be able to build a good connection tomillennials. Only then its future can be entailed.