Why Baseball Still Matters

Jacob Spiwak/ Asst. Sports Director

There are few things better than spending a spring or summer day at an MLB ballpark. The smell of hot dogs and fresh-cut grass, a cool breeze and watching your favorite team in action; there’s a reason baseball is regarded as America’s pastime.

At the time of publication, we’re less than a week away from MLB Opening Day. Francisco Liriano will deliver the first pitch of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the division rival St. Louis Cardinals and just like that regular season baseball will be back in our lives for the next six months.

The problem is it seems like less and less people care about the beautiful sport of baseball these days. Local ratings are still through the roof in most markets, but in the current digital age, the NFL and NBA are consistently more popular nationally and on social media than the MLB.

Younger demographics continue turning toward faster paced sports like football and basketball, while the median age of a baseball fan has raised to 53 years old according to a study done by ESPN.

MLB changed the game when they released their MLB.tv online streaming service, which is still by far the most successful and revolutionary one of its kind in the entire industry.

While people complain about the lack of quality in the NFL and NBA All Star Games, MLB’s is year in and year out the only one (besides the NHL) that matters and resembles an actual game.

They’re also starting to implement rule changes to speed up pace of play and attempt to modernize the game. If that isn’t enough to appeal to a younger audience that’s our generation’s fault and our fault alone.

Much too often I see people argue how boring baseball is and they’d much rather watch a meaningless early season NBA game than the World Series come late October. This baffles me, that as a so-called sports fan someone would skip out on watching the most important series in our country’s most important sport.

Instead of taking America’s pastime for granted, enjoy it for what it is. What other sport guarantees you multiple games almost every day for six months? What other sport is as stat-driven and analytical? What other sport was literally built on father-son bonds and continues to be arguably the most family-friendly environment in all of professional sports?

I understand that everybody has different tastes and I can’t sit here and tell you which sport you have to watch.

It’s up to everyone what they enjoy and what they don’t and I understand that this column won’t bring a youth audience back to the MLB. But instead of calling it boring and refusing to watch a game, give it a shot on Opening Day and understand the beauty that is Major League Baseball.

While seemingly everyone else is tearing up their March Madness brackets or making crying Jordan memes of LeBron James, I’ll be gladly watching my favorite sport for the first time since early November all day April 3 and 4 and I urge you to do the same.

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