Baseball — America’s favorite pastime. Now that the World Series is over, what will Americans do with their time? Baseball has become a foundation for America, a sport that many participate in and millions view every year. Americans come together and bond over their favorite televised sport every season. Baseball has been played since 1846; with almost 200 years of existence, how could it not be the best sport in the U.S.?
There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball comprised of professional players all competing for one thing: to be the World Series champions. The World Series is the postseason seven-game battle between the National League and the American League. This year, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox competed for the championship. The Red Sox won in game four and, sadly, the Dodgers did not have a chance — making them the runners-up two years in a row. The World Series is like the cherry on top of a shared sundae, and there is only one winner of the cherry.
It is not just the game itself that makes it America’s favorite — it is everything included in it, the game, the culture and the food. The sport is self-explanatory: a player from one team throws the ball to a player from the opposite team, batting. If the player hits the ball then said player runs the bases and tries to make it to home and score. No matter the league, the concept stays the same — the player hits the ball or three strikes, you’re out! But you don’t have to play for the MLB to be considered a player — there is little league, high school ball, college ball as well as minor league baseball. There are always chances to play baseball and have baseball in your life.
However, you don’t have to play the sport to love it, being a fan is a great way to be involved as well. Anyone can easily watch a game and cheer on their team, whether it be from the stands or the comfort of your own living room. It is because this sport is so easily accessible, open to anyone and everyone to enjoy, that so much of America has fallen in love with it. Let’s not forget baseball’s sister sport, softball, which I love even more — but my opinion may be biased, I’ve played since I was 5.
There is no discrimination in this fanbase, no certain way a person has to be to enjoy baseball. It is a sport welcoming of everyone, the melting pot of American sports fans — another reason it is the best sport in the U.S.
There are so many things associated with baseball, and thus many ways fans can be a part of the sport. The stadium culture, fanbase, merchandise and even fantasy teams are all part of what makes baseball America’s true favorite pastime. Actively supporting your team by buying merchandise and going to the games is a great way to be a part of the baseball community. Wearing your favorite player’s jersey to the game shows support, but wearing it in everyday life shows love for that team. Belonging to a team or being a devoted fan brings you into a sort of fandom community. Team fans come together and bond over group viewings of games, attending home games, barbeques and themed parties.
By attending the game at the stadium, you get an even bigger taste of why this is the best sport. You will be surrounded by other fans who are all there for the same reason: to enjoy the game. It is America’s favorite because it includes getting together with friends, eating stadium-sized hot dogs and cheering on your favorite team to victory.
We love baseball so much, there is food dedicated specifically to it. The Dodgerdog, a hot dog served at Dodger stadium, is infamous for being the best hot dog. They also have baseball nachos, which are served in a plastic helmet with the home team’s logo on it — a built in souvenir! Each stadium has a unique food item that is their best item, what that stadium is known for.
Besides food, stadiums have this culture and normality of being loud. Everyone cheers for their team during the game, boo the umpires when they make an unfair call and even sing during the seventh inning stretch. You can be loud and obnoxious; you’re almost expected to be. The feeling of community can also become almost palpable amongst fellow fans at the stadium, which makes it a sacred experience for lovers of the sport.
The World Series is like winning the lottery — two teams out of 30 compete. It brought over 115 million viewers, from in the stands and streaming. Although some might say that football or basketball have the title of America’s favorite pastime, baseball has been around way longer and will always have a special place in Americans’ hearts. When you hear the word baseball, you think of America.