There is only one way of putting it. Baseball is to America what cricket is to Indians.
Yes, Americans sleep, eat and drink baseball. One might wonder what Americans like about a game the rest of the world finds slow moving at best. What it is about baseball that it is touted as America’s national pastime?
The baseball game is divided into nine periods of play, each of which is called an inning. At the end of nine innings the team that has scored the most runs is the winner. The pitcher throws a ball towards the batter of the opposing team.
The batter tries to hit the ball into the baseball field. Runs are scored by hitting the ball and running around a series of bases before a player in the field can put them out.
On the surface baseball is like any other ball game. There is a bat, a ball, and players. However, Americans beg to differ. They insist it’s not just about “hit and run.”
Image Source: beyondscrapbooks.com
Baseball is simple enough for a child to understand. At the same time, the subtlety in its plan of action keeps the oldies involved as well. The Americans argue that the slow pace of the game is what makes it so great to watch. The ‘action’ and the ‘rest action’ of baseball allow for conversation and ‘fixing and eating’ a hot dog, another American favorite.
Perhaps that is the reason why Americans watch it in pubs as well. Americans believe that baseball is for someone with passion. Fans insist that there is no sound sweeter than the cracking of the glove from the upper deck from a 95mph fast ball.
The ideal entertainer would be a baseball game which is low scoring or no scoring until late in the game. The homerun is a great thing to watch. It involves not just a great hit but speedy base running, and sacrifice as well. However what makes it especially great to watch is the final play at the plate, that’s what gives Americans the adrenalin rush.
Baseball is much like a great opera. The systematic build up keeps you occupied all the time preparing you for that ultimate crushing climax. The climax wouldn’t be as fun if it wasn’t for the long slow build up. Baseball is a game of strategy.
‘No clock’, means a game can be more dramatic. A ‘walk off homer’ or ‘hit’ can end a game abruptly. The dramatic finish almost always makes up for the slow pace of the game. Baseball is like a tradition in America.
Long time rivalries make for interesting nail- biting finishes. However most Americans would say that it’s really all about that great feeling you get when you hit one really deep. That’s what Baseball is really all about. League matches and national team play offs are what keep the Americans going back for more.
The American people were the first to give baseball community status, a national identity of its own. Baseball caps, baseball tee shirts, baseball cards, name it and you will find it in America. America also has a Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in New York which immortalizes the great players, past and present.
This institution chronicles the history of baseball and displays uniforms, photographs and other game paraphernalia. The museum’s library and archives contain the world’s most exhaustive collection of material devoted exclusively to baseball. Truly it is about passion, passion for a game that might appear to the bystander as just a series of hit and run.