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national pastime
sammy sosa
major league baseball
steady decline
beloved sport
barry bonds
Baseball Is It Still Our National Pastime?
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Baseball is it Still Our National Pastime?

Baseball is known as America's pastime, but the steady decline in major league baseball postseason ratings suggested that baseball is possibly on the decline as our beloved sport. For many years, baseball is all sports fans could talk about. In the 1920's baseball was enormous, fans would battle their way into the ballpark. Our nation has changed a lot since then and as the years progressed, so did the game of baseball.

In the 1970's attendance had been growing rapidly and in 1994, before the strike, baseball was at a record high for attendance. One of the main reasons for the surge was the offensive explosion. Players were hitting home runs like crazy and fans embraced it. Even after the strike was over in 1995, fans still kept a close eye on the game. Although, the strike did strum up a lot of controversy between the fans and the game. However, anticipation for the 1995 season grew and ballparks filled up.

In 1998, baseball had one of it's best years ever. The year Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa bashed their way into the history books. Roger Maris's record of 61 home runs in a single season was at risk of being broken. Not just by one player, but actually two in the same year. Both players hit their way into the record books by breaking Maris's record, it was a spectacular home run race. By the end of the year McGwire had hit 70 home runs and Sosa close behind him with 66.

In the early 1990's steroids began to make a big splash in the game of baseball. Most of the allegations did not draw that much interest at first. Many columnists wrote about how players were bulking up so suddenly, but the evidence was not significant enough yet. Although, the evidence was staring us right in the face, we ignored it and embraced the historic home run race.

McGwire's new home run record would not stand for long. In fact in 2001, Barry Bonds broke the single season record with 73 home runs. Bonds was amazing that year, simply crushing everything he hit. Not to mention, he also set the walks record that year with 177. From the early 90's until the Mitchell report surfaced in 2003 and steroids was a huge scandal in Major league baseball. Basically, steroids tainted the game of baseball and the game was just never the same.

In conclusion, I regret to say that baseball our national pastime is long gone. Thanks to steroids, baseball attendance ratings have plummeted dramatically. However, sports fans have adapted and chosen a new pastime. It seems football came up in the ranks rather quickly and remains there until further notice, but for this sports fan baseball will always be in my heart.


Street Talk

Baseball was the american past time decades ago. We had nothing else to do that brought people together in such large numbers. Baseball is a monopoly. It's illegal but congress passed the exemption decades ago to protect their interests in the sport and the money they received from it. People don't go as often because you can see it at home, sitting on your comfy couch, cold beer in hand, good eats that cost 20% of what ball park food costs. And you don't have to deal with traffic, parking, walking, and the hot sun. Why in the world would anyone go to a baseball game under such conditions unless they had a chauffeur and a box seat? Playing the game is much different than being a spectator. Same as in most sports. The athlete is there for the money first and the game second. Stephen

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks for the feedback Stephen. Although, I don't know if I agree with all athletes playing for the money. There are some of them that just love the game and the money is a bonus!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Great aricle! Growing up in the 70 and the 80s I had always dreamed of becoming a third basemen for the Reds. I would have played for no money just to get to the Majors. Now it is all just about money. I have not seen a Major League game for about 4 years now. My grandchildren love to play the game and I will still support them all the way if that is their passion. Thanks, Robert

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Yes, baseball has changed a lot since the 70's-80's and the purity of the game is tainted dramatically by greed and wealth.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Kyle  

Nothing like going out to the ol' ball game. I am probably going to check out some Spring Training games this year in the cactus league, awesome stuff. I do like many sports, baseball is definitely not the most exciting sport on TV, but there is something that can be said about going to a live baseball game.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Even though the game has changed a lot, It's still my favorite sport. Spring Training is the best part for me b/c its cheap to go to the games and the weather is usually pretty good. Not to hot, it's tough to enjoy the game sometimes when your bakin' in the sun!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Kyle  

Yeah, I went to an Angels game last year (mid summer) and it was almost too hot ...must have been 100+ degress (in LA heat) in the park! Looking forward to some spring training action this year!

  
  about 8 years ago

Sorry to say I love football better then baseball, but I still liked the article. Although, I use to like baseball more, but not enough action I guess!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I know baseball is still my pastime, even though I love football too! Great article I really like it!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Baseball will always be number one for me, Although I love football too! Always our national pastime no matter what everyone says!!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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