Posted on July 17, 2013
Bryce Harper. Mike Trout. Manny Machado. Steven Strasburg.
Mariano Rivera. Derrick Jeter. Ichiro Suzuki.
Old and new.
Black and white.
Asian and Hispanic.
Baseball is America. All of America.
Baseball is back. And more than football. More than hockey (which is also making a comeback). More than basketball (which might go out of business if it isn’t careful). And certainly more than soccer (which is still a foreigner’s game to me), baseball is still America’s pastime.
Watching the All-Star game reminded me of the great diversity of the game of baseball.
It’s a game of brute strength, and cunning strategy. It is a game of individuals, but no individual can win a game alone. The weakest link in a team can blow a game. And a player can be pitch perfect, but without the help of his teammates, the game can still be lost.
It’s a game of endurance, a game that reminds you that life is a marathon and not a sprint.
They play a lot of games in baseball, which makes you respect Cal Ripken’s achievement when he broke Lou Gehrig’s iconic consecutive game streak.
Baseball is not necessarily a violent game, but people still get hurt.
Baseball is a game that mothers are more than happy to let their kids play (unlike football).
Unlike in hockey, when you fight in baseball, you get kicked out of the game and get a pretty nice fine to boot.
In baseball, you respect authority, even when it makes a mistake (which is often). If you don’t, you get tossed.
Baseball television ratings are down a bit for nationally televised games, but they are up big at the local level. Baseball attendance might be down slightly, although I think that has more to do with prices and the economy than it does with anything else.
More importantly, baseball is an exciting product and great to watch, with all kinds of marquee players – new and old – who make the game even more interesting to watch.
Several years ago, many were saying that baseball was dead after the strike, because the American people no longer had patience for the game, that the game was too boring and took too long.
But after watching last night’s All Star game, I beg to differ.
Baseball is still America’s pastime. And it will be around for a long, long time.