By NAHOA JETTE
America’s favorite pastime is no longer baseball. Disturbing, but true, baseball has taken the backseat of professional sports in America.
According to the article “Is America’s Pastime Dying a Slow Death?,” Major League Baseball television ratings have plummeted by as much as 50 percent since 1990. These are alarming numbers due to the fact that baseball was once the undeniable sport of this nation.
Baseball was born in the 19th century and was able to expand rapidly through the progression of this country (and the world) during the 20th century. With the help of technology, media, and society’s lust for competition, baseball became lodged into the hearts and minds of Americans across the nation.
Towards the end of the century though, while football was gaining momentum in its fan base, baseball was beginning its downhill spiral to where it is today in relation to other professional sports. According to “The Reason Why Football Is King,” in 2010, a regular season NFL game between two mediocre teams outscored a playoff MLB game by a 7.2 percent television rating to 6.5 percent, respectively.
This decline of interest in baseball isn’t just limited to the U.S. In other countries, where soccer, which is largely considered “boring” to Americans, dominates any other sport by far, and baseball has no following what-so-ever. The Olympic Games have even discarded the sport because of the lack of participating nations.
Whether it be because of the longevity of the game, or the lack of excitement, baseball is indeed losing interest. MLB.com states that the total attendance of the regular season of 2013 was down almost 1 million from the previous year. If one were to look at a graph of attendance numbers from the past decade, one would see a discernible decline.
These realizations should sadden America. Baseball was the foundation of sport entertainment in this country and to throw it away for a more “exciting” show isn’t just. While football attracts views because of its fast-paced violence, baseball was right alongside this nation through much of its history. Baseball paved the path of racial equality in sports when Jackie Robinson signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Dimaggio, Gehrig, Mantle, Clemente-were all once idolized by the American people. How could people forget the classics that were once so very near and dear to our hearts?
Baseball must regain a foothold in the sports world. Whether it be shortening the season, reducing ticket prices, or implementing a way to quicken the pace of the game; baseball needs to be revived in this country. In a perfect world, younger generations would see value in this sport, and would become fans without altering the game at all. Then baseball could become infused in the lives of future generations, thus continuing the legacy of this great game.