Baseball has lost the top spot in America’s favorite sports list.
It’s America’s 241th birthday and there is no better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than watching a Home Run Derby at Hyde Park in London, England. That’s right England. According to a news release, Major League Baseball legends Carlos Pena, Cliff Floyd and Shawn Green will be trying to knock it out of the park. Major League Baseball wants to invade England because the industry needs to grow. That is a far cry from the old days. The Fourth of July was baseball, apple pie, swimming and fireworks. Baseball was, Casey At The Bat, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, which was about man’s failure or man’s joy although it was Katie Casey who told her boyfriend I want to go to the ball game in the song. There was the Babe and the great DiMaggio who was lionized in the Old Man and the Sea classic book by Hemingway. Joe DiMaggio would be revisited in song in Paul Simon’s classic Mrs. Robinson. Baseball players were in vaudeville, in movies, and on radio and TV. In 1954, the French social commentator Jacques Barzun once noted “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game – and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams.”
Baseball was dominate. There was a countdown to spring training and for certain Americans that was also the countdown to spring and the coming of warm weather and the Fall Classic and the Hot Stove League. Opening Day was an event and it was the boys of summer. Baseball was omnipresent. Now sports seasons clash. Opening Day takes a back seat to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Stanley Cup and the NBA Finals all competitors and NFL training camp in July. Baseball is no longer the king of sports in America.
Baseball has lost its way.