Baseball holds the distinguished honor of being America’s original pastime. Dating back to the late 1800s, it is the oldest organized sport in the country. There’s just something so American about heading to the ballpark on a summer night, more so than any other professional sport. But what I think distinguishes baseball from all the others is its ability to relate to life and, within that, the American dream.
I know arguing that baseball is the best sport places me in the minority, especially on a college campus. Football seems to be the overwhelming favorite, but I have an extremely valid argument. The baseball offseason from November to January is a trying time for me (since I don’t have baseball to watch), and I classify this time as my winter.
From the start of spring training in February, all the way up to the end of the Fall Classic in October, I’m constantly thinking about baseball. While some may call this an obsession, I would rather call it a passion; it makes it sound healthier. In all honesty, though, baseball and life really do have a lot in common, and I think that’s another reason I am so drawn to the sport.
Baseball, like life, has no established time for its ending. Sure, both things will eventually end, but they do so at a time unbeknownst to anyone ahead of time. That uncertainty is part of the reason I love the game, and I can certainly say I’m glad that I don’t know when I’m going to meet my end. That’s what makes both life and baseball true adventures.
In baseball, just as in life, many decisions are before us, and over time, both good and bad will happen. Whether you’re caught stealing a cookie from the cookie jar or trying to steal second base, these things are bound to happen every now and again.
The great thing about life and baseball, though, is that we get a chance to redeem our mistakes — whether it’s by baking a batch of delicious double chocolate chip cookies or by swatting a walk-off solo home run to lead your team to victory.
That’s the great thing about life. Just as in baseball, the lack of time constraints allows for the possibility of anything to happen. This really holds true to the American ideal of “never giving up,” and in baseball, no one can tell you it’s the end until you make that last out. Lloyd Christmas said it best: “So, you’re saying there’s a chance!”
A baseball season stretches for 162 games. The season is so long that every team is bound to lose some of its games, just as we are all bound to have a bad day every so often. The important thing to remember is what you do after that bad game or that bad day.
A baseball team will go out and persevere, continuing to play its best. In our lives, we must set out to do our best within our circumstances, putting everything we have out there.
In the end, I realize baseball may not be all that exciting when compared to other sports, but when you take a step back and look at it, there is a clear reason the sport became America’s pastime.
Baseball represents everything we as Americans value in life, and if I may be so bold, I believe it is the living embodiment of the American dream.