“Agree to Disagree, but I’m Probably Right”: Baseball: America’s Pastime
December 13, 2016
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Baseball is an incredible sport. It is the best sport. Although many fans find baseball uninteresting to watch, as a player of America’s pastime, I can tell you that there is nothing better. Sports have a lot in common. They teach us mental and physical toughness, challenge our inner-competitiveness, and force us to give our very best. Each athlete on campus will claim that his or her sport is the best, and that is exactly what I am going to do. Making a claim for baseball and its very special nature over other sports is quite easy for me.
It begins with the fact that baseball is our nation’s pastime. Baseball has so many traditions, such as the seventh inning stretch, singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and hot dogs. The ability for baseball to progress, yet stay true to the its traditions from the 1800s to 2016, has been remarkable.
What other sport has a week designated for the most talented 12-year old teams in the world playing against one another? The Little League World Series is one of the most unique, or perhaps it is the most unique, annual sporting events in the world. The youngest male and female gold medalists in Olympic history were 13 according to Topend Sports. We get to see 12-year old baseball players on a national stage for a week in Augusteach year displaying their young, but mature talent.
Another great thing about baseball is the playing surface. Basketball and tennis courts, ice hockey rinks, and football and soccer fields look the same for the most part. Each baseball field is different in its own way. Lower levels of baseball often provide uneasy field conditions; however, that only adds another element to the game by strategizing how to go about playing on that particular surface.
One does not have to be over 6’6″, or over 200 pounds with unbelievable strength to succeed in baseball. José Altuve is 5’5,” 170 pounds and won the American League batting title, hitting .338 in 2016. Billy Hamilton is basically a stick at 6’0″, 160 pounds, yet has a total of 115 stolen bases since the beginning of the 2015 season, which leads all of Major League Baseball. Baseball players are different and succeed in different ways. It is often thought that pitchers who throw 95 miles per hour will be successful, but in 2012, RA Dickey won the AL Cy Young award with his knuckleball that sat in the mid-70s range. Baseball players are able to find different ways to succeed.
It is very hard to find a play in sports that is more exciting than the home run. We have dunks, touchdowns, checks, and much more in sports, but the home run wins every time. There is something so soothing and sweet about a home run and the sound created when the bat and ball meet. A home run also cannot be taken back. Once that ball is over the fence, the points are on the board. A fan or player does not have to worry about a penalty or the home run being called back for whatever reason.
The best part, and my favorite part of the game, is the fact that it lacks a time limit. If you are winning, you have to continue to play the game. You are not able to kneel the ball, dribble around until the shot clock expires, or kill time in any other way for that matter. The losing team can never be written off until the last out is achieved. This is unique and special. I playeda game during my senior year of high school in which my team scored seven runs with two outs in the final inning. We tied the game 12-12 and won in extra innings. We were not given 10 minutes to get those seven runs and did not fully panic thinking the game was over before the rally began. Each team in baseball gets 27 outs in a traditional 9-inning game. The team that us leading MUST give the team that is losing a chance. It is something truly exclusive to the gam,e and year after year we see improbable comebacks.
All sports are unique. Every sport can be exciting, intriguing, and thought-provoking. Baseball, however, has a different atmosphere. Sure, there are dull points, and it may be hard to watch from time-to-time. With that said, the game, and every piece that goes with it, is distinctive and fascinating. Baseball is America’s pastime for a reason: It will always reign supreme over the others.