Baseball, the great American past time. While the NFL has become extremely popular in American culture, Baseball is still the original. This history of baseball is the history of America from the mid 19th century to the present. What we see in baseball is transcendent of American culture and American society.
I think what many fans of the other major sports in the United States forget, is the NFL, NHL, and NBA all followed the lead of Major League Baseball. We look at professional sports today as the culmination of a culture that emphasizes fame and celebrity. Yet we also see professional athletes, particularly in baseball as heroes. From Babe Ruth to Mark McGwire to A-Rod, the American culture views these athletes has heroes. Is it right to do this? That is a question that has to be answered by the individual.
The game of baseball began in the Northeast, but spread through a military conflict that reshaped the society of America and its Constitution. The game of baseball is, in itself a culturally unifying activity. Looking forward to Opening Day is something that fans of all economic, and educational levels enjoy.
So, as the first week of the new season comes to a close, fans across the country should take a moment and think about why it is we are fascinated with this game called baseball. For myself I enjoy the strategy. It’s a simple game, hitting a ball with a stick, yet there is so much more to the game. Bunt, don’t bunt, steal, don’t steal. The game itself is one of strategy and thought. But for the fans, the game is one of moments of utter excitement and deep disappointment.
Thus the history of the game of baseball parallels the history of America. The moments of progress and the moments of fear and uncertainty. Baseball is in itself an escape. But through the sport, fans can live the history of a nation.