By Eddie Lopez
Baseball has been the American pastime since the MLB’s establishment in 1869. While baseball is still viewed in living rooms all over the world, it has been overshadowed by other sports in recent years.
Although baseball has had its ups and downs over the years with steroid scandals and a strike that nearly ended the future of the game, baseball has managed to stay on top, and baseball fans wouldn’t want it any other way.
If you were to ask people who are not baseball fans, whether they feel that baseball is dead or not, they will not hesitate to tell you that the answer is “it absolutely has.” Baseball fans, however, would tell you that people who say baseball is a dying sport are crazy.
Lifelong baseball fan Jorge Trujillo, a senior at CSUSB, claims that baseball is not dead. Trujillo said, “Baseball is not even close to being dead. It’s not even in the same ballpark. It’s not even on the same damn street!” He believes that baseball is still alive due to its long history and how it is known better than that of soccer or hockey.
“When you think of baseball, you think of more than ten historical baseball players. When you think of historical soccer players, very few come to mind,” said Trujillo.
But why baseball? Of all the other mainstream sports in today’s day, why do people continue to watch baseball and embrace it as their favorite sport? Some people will say that it’s the only sport they know, while others will say they admire the beauty of baseball. Cassandra Gonzalez, a senior at Cal Poly Pomona, claims that she chooses baseball over the other mainstream sports simply because of its beauty.
“There’s something about baseball that really grabbed my attention when I was a little girl. I remember going to my first baseball game and watching these players lay out for a ground ball in the hole, and hit a walk off homerun,” Gonzalez said.
She would watch her favorite players, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, play at a level she has never seen before. “I would watch guys like A-Rod, and Derek Jeter play beautifully and it made me appreciate the sport that much more,” Gonzalez shared.
The biggest argument behind how baseball has become a dying sport would be based on the fact that the games progress slowly and therefore last for a long time. The best rebuttal to that statement would be to watch baseball during October when the games really matter.
There is a huge difference between regular season baseball and post-season baseball. When baseball is in the playoffs, you will never see a game where fans are not on the edge of their seats. When you watch a World Series game with the score tied at 3-3, in the bottom of the 9th Inning, with two men out and the bases loaded on a full count, and the number four batter in the line up hits a grand slam to give the winning team the world series trophy, you will see a reaction from everyone at the ballpark.
Though baseball is a sport of beauty and history, it is also a sport with its own share of scandals throughout the years. The biggest two scandals were the steroid scandal and the Chicago Black Sox scandal which happened during the 1919 World Series. The Chicago Black Sox Scandal led to the Chicago White Sox blowing the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds and purposely losing the series as a way of getting back at the owner for not paying his players enough. The steroid scandal of baseball happened from the 1980s to the mid 2000s. Many big time players were found to be using performance-enhancing drugs while the MLB knew all about it.
Regardless of all these scandals, people still chose baseball as their number one sport. People, like lifelong baseball fan Celia Diaz, will say that, regardless of these scandals, baseball will always be her favorite sport.
Diaz said, “I don’t care about the ugly side of baseball. All sports have an ugly side in their history. I will always love baseball because it just shows you that even though you have made mistakes, you can still do great things. Regardless of the Black Sox scandal or steroid scandal, baseball managed to come out on top, and I think that we can all learn something from that.”