For those of you who believe that Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are dumps that should be torn down in favor of those modern ballparks that resemble an amusement park more than a baseball field, shame on you.
If you’re one of those people, you’re not a true baseball fan.
Baseball used to be America’s pastime. The likes of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Roger Hornsby and Ty Cobb became legends across this great nation. People would flock to the ballpark for the sole purpose of enjoying nine innings of this beautiful game. As hard it is to believe nowadays, teams used to even play something called a doubleheader on weekends regularly. How crazy is that?
Back in the good ol’ days, pitchers didn’t come out of the game until they couldn’t throw any more pitches. If you asked someone how many pitches Cy Young had thrown, they would just look at you as if you were crazy—why would anyone care? There was no such thing as a long reliever, setup man or closer; just pitchers.
Now, players are seen as objects by owners, and stadiums are more like office buildings than a park. In a day and age in which players are being paid upwards of $300 million dollars, and owners are regularly spending half a billion dollars on new, attractive stadiums, the original game of baseball is fading in to the background.
Yet, there are still two constants that remain. Wrigley and Fenway—the two most amazing and storied venues in the history of American Sports. Their function? To provide fans of Chicago and Boston with a the opportunity to watch baseball the right way. With a hot dog in one hand, a score book in the other and a cold beer in front of you, you can’t go wrong.
Some people don’t like that though. With smart phones and iPads, YouTube and Twitter, spreading among the average American, it seems people can no longer sit at a game for three hours and watch 54 outs be made. Instead, “fans” take a half a dozen trips to various food or attraction stands. How sad is that?
I recently visited Great America Ballpark in Cincinnati this past summer and found this theory in full swing. Outside the park, there were tents and trucks that had TVs and Xboxs all over where fans can play baseball video games.
Wait…why would someone want to play a video game of a sport, when they can walk back to their seat and watch their hometown team?
In all honesty, I have no clue. I think it is very sad.
Now that there are only two real ballparks left, we need to appreciate them while they last. Because let’s face it—sooner or later, potential revenue will overtake ageless tradition and convince a future owner of one, or both, of these franchises to destroy a piece of American history.
So with that, please join me and fight for a resurgence of the game of baseball. With the NFL in a sticky situation and the NBA heading for one as well, this is a perfect time for baseball to take back its place in American society and in people’s hearts because, quite frankly, that is where it belongs.
As seen on Bleacher Report