Why Baseball Is, And Always Will Be, America's Pastime
The ability to celebrate July 4th once again is one not many Americans will probably ever take for granted again. The traditions of gathering for backyard barbeques, yard games, and fireworks will certainly be picked up across the nation once again. But one tradition will stand out amongst them all: Baseball on the 4th of July.
Since the game’s creation, baseball and America have been synonymous with each other, so it is only fitting that a full slate of professional games, along with some friendly competition between family and friends, be played when the nation celebrates its birth and independence. Baseball has followed the history of the country. And while both the game and the country have undergone massive changes over time, there are some constants that ensure baseball will always be America’s Pastime.
- The History
No game is obsessed with its own history quite like baseball. Names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, and Ted Williams are brought up so frequently you would not be faulted for thinking these greats were still alive. As Ken Burns wrote for his brilliant documentary, Baseball, “It is a haunted game, in which every player is measured against the ghosts of all that have gone before.”
But this obsession with history is what makes the game timeless. It is what makes it so that grandparents and grandchildren can bridge the gap between generations and connect on the common ground of baseball, and that is priceless.
- Player & Fan Interaction
Fans are a major part of any sport, but no sport allows for as much player-fan interaction like baseball. Name another sport where a fan can potentially decide the outcome of a play or a game.
There’s also nothing quite like watching a player fling his batting gloves into the crowd after a big home run or the end of a ballgame. And it’s always a great site when a big leaguer takes some time before a game or even between innings to play catch with a lucky young fan.
- Ballpark Hot Dogs
It doesn’t get any better than taking in a game in your favorite ballpark while enjoying a hot dog. While there is certainly other ballpark fare available, there is something quintessentially American about a hot dog, and enjoying one at the ballgame just takes it to a whole new level. Baseball and hot dogs have seemingly always been intertwined. In fact, baseball fans will consume, on average, 20 million hot dogs per season. That’s nearly 1,900 miles worth of hot dogs.
- The Home Run
The home run is not just the most exciting play in baseball, it’s the most exciting play in sports. There is no argument. Scoring a touchdown requires some build-up to the event. But a home run can happen at any time and can turn a deficit into a lead in an instant. It’s lightning in a bottle each time and has led to some of the most memorable moments in American sports.
- The Romance
Football is hard-hitting. Hockey is blindingly fast. And basketball is rhythmic. But no other sport is quite as romantic as baseball.
There is just nothing quite like that feeling when you arrive at the ballpark and hearing the sound of the ball hitting bat for the first time. The joy you feel when your team or your favorite players succeeds in their next at bat after striking out in the previous one.
There is just something magical about this game that no other sport can replicate. How can you not be romantic about baseball?
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