The Ecstatic Beauty of Baseball

from The New Yorker

It’s right around the corner. That magical time of year when grown men put on their ball caps, pull up their socks, and take to the field. What is it about this sport that has captured our imaginations for more than two hundred years? It’s really just a simple game played on a large lawn, with forty-six players to a side, two bags of ham, and a pistol with live ammunition.

For those not familiar with the rules, once the “eyeman” is blindfolded and the snakes have been released, the “turtle slinger” is called. He then starts shooting until someone is “out,” at which point teams switch sides and keep playing until there are no more players left, or the visiting team ends its hunger strike.

That’s it!

You don’t have to be genetically gifted to play baseball, unlike other sports. It’s an everyman’s game. In fact, it’s the only game in which a four-feet-two, three-hundred-and-eighty-pound man can slip into the jelly pool on a routine “barryslap” seven out of ten times and still be a hero. It’s the only game in which a man can ride another man dressed like a pony for as long as he wants unless he slips into the snake pit or the “ponyman” starts crying.

More here.

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  1. I read this article for the sole purpose of seeing if I could try and get into baseball but again the sport is just terrible to me. I appreciate the fact that the game can be played by anyone and you don’t have to be the most athletic, but I just find that baseball is boring and not physical and the fact that it can be played by anyone and doesn’t require special talent at something, or the best athleticism is just odd. I prefer pretty much every other sport over baseball including football, soccer, rugby, basketball, polo, track, etc. The article states that baseball requires a certain finesse, but the thing is the only finesse necessary is hand eye coordination but not even the top hand eye coordination. I would say that football requires more of that and you have to be much more physically fit. Baseball doesn’t represent peak human performance overall and therefore as a sport it is rather basic and not something I would be interested in. Other sports have players such as Zion Williamson, Julio Jones, Lebron James, Chritiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Usian Bolt, etc. These players each exemplify peak human performance and put on a show every time they step onto the field. Baseball doesn’t have the same athletics which I feel “athletics” is all about though maybe it is fun for some.
    Another problem I had was with the article itself. This articles language makes no sense at all and doesn’t let the message come across about whatever this article is trying to say. I even asked a friend that understood the game more then I did if these were baseball terms and he had no clue. How is anyone just supposed to read this article and magically understand all these outlandish terms? I couldn’t even find on the internet what this article was trying to say and I feel as though the writer could have done better by offering some translation to his words. Baseball is like watching paint dry and I got that same feeling trying to read this article. There isn’t even a comment section on the page to help someone in the comments help everyone else understand what the writer is trying to say in the article.

    • While I respect your opinion, I find your comments about baseball to be very ignorant and asinine considering your definition of athleticism. Of course I find some of them in the article, such as the fact that “anyone can play the sport” to be ignorant as well, as with 12 years of baseball experience I can tell you that this is not the case. Baseball, like most other major sports, has evolved, to where only the most athletic of players can have success in the field. It takes an extreme level of strength and focus to hit a baseball travelling around 90-100 MPH 420 feet into the stands like a player such as Bryce Harper or Mike Trout. Growing up in the baseball travel team/AAU process and the high school level it was the players who worked on their body and game very hard simoultaneously who achieved the greatest success. I was never the most athletic, and routinely saw those of greater athletic prowess become successful and win positions over myself despite my hard work. This literally works the exact same way in basketball or football. As a matter of fact, players like Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Calvin Johnson, played baseball as a second sport and were successful, but not to the degree of an athlete who focuses on baseball full time. Additionally, mentioning that “baseball is watching paint dry” is ignorant considering that in your response you stated that you did not understand the game or the article. Making statements such as “baseball does not represent peak human performance” follows suit, as I mentioned earlier that it takes a special type of athlete to send a ball that they basically cannot see hundreds of feat past the stadium. Your comprehension of the article was poor, your comprehension of athleticism is poor, and you should also practice better writing abilities in your response if you are going to critique a sport loved by millions around the world.

  2. AJ DiCosimo, author of “The Ecstatic Beauty of Baseball,” describes how the game of baseball is an exciting game for all people to watch. In the beginning of the article, he explains how anyone can play this game; you do not have to be “genetically gifted” to play this sport, as you would have to be for other sports. I also liked how DiCosimo mentions past baseball players, such as Dale Plump, Walter (Poppy) Cox, and Toots McKenzie. What really got my attention is what DiCosimo says at the very end of the article; he elaborates on how, though things may seem rough, baseball games “remind us to slow down, even if it’s just for a second or two to take in the sounds of summer, or anguished screams coming from the snake pit,” making a person “truly feel like a kid again.” This statement shows how baseball can lift up your spirits during times of stress and other troubling times that may occur in life.

    The New Yorker truly highlights the magical moments of baseball. It may seem boring to some people, but once they understand the game and how it works, I believe that they will become more interested in the game. That is what exactly happened to me a couple of years ago; I am not really into sports, but I have to say baseball has to be one of my favorite sports to watch. Though I do not watch it often, whenever I do, I am always entertained, and it is because I understand how the game works. I remember I went to my uncle’s baseball game back home, and at first, I did not know what was going on. My mom played baseball when she was younger, so she helped me understand baseball a bit more. Ever since, I have enjoyed watching baseball, whenever I do watch it. I also, for the first time, went to Yankee Stadium with my family to see the Yankees play when I was a junior in high school. I have to say, it is such a wonderful experience; it is so much better watching it live than watching it on television. I believe that this article is a good read, especially for those who are big baseball fans.

  3. I definitely just saw the word baseball and clicked right on it because I am a huge fan! This article written by AJ DiCosimo was great. he is absolutely right! Baseball is a great sport and physically going to the stadium to watch games is even better. But I do have to disagree with how easy he claims baseball to be. Growing up my favorite sport was Softball and although it is not exactly the same as baseball; due to the fact that the softball is way bigger and yellow, it was not easy at all. Playing the sport took a lot of practice and strength! It took a lot of dedication as well and even when you felt like giving up, you knew you could not let your team down. I definitely do not think it is an “everyman’s game” like AJ stated. Not everyone understands the concept of baseball and not everyone knows how to swing a bat properly or catch a ground ball, even a pop up. The sport takes a lot of practice and dedication for sure and only the best succeed to go above and beyond with the sport. Aas AJ stated in his article, there has been a lot of issues dealing with guys who use drugs so that they can become a little more powerful when they hit. Thhat has definitely always been an issue in the MLB. But it is officially baseball season for us fans and all I have to say is, Lets Go Mets!!

  4. Baseball, in my opinion, is the greatest game known to man. The language of this article was very different, but it made me look at the sport in an even more fun-loving manner. My opinion is definitely biased, considering as soon as I was able to walk my dad stuck a baseball bat in my hand. I played baseball religiously throughout most of my life, and it is my all time favorite past-time. Baseball was my first love and I will always have a soft spot for America’s game.
    Of course it seems as if anyone can play the game, but that is not necessarily true. I do believe that some baseball players are born with God-given talent. People who are too ignorant to understand the game do not realize how hard it is to hit a round ball, with a round bat… squarely. Not to mention the fact that it is coming at you at 90+ mph from 60 feet away. Good luck making the decision to swing or not faster than a blink of the eye. I will never forget learning the game and the little league days. Those were by far the best days of my life. Most of my closest friends are the same kids I shared the diamond with from ages 7-13. Unfortunately my playing days were cut short midway through high school, but my love for the game has not faltered.
    My favorite Major League team is the New York Mets. It is so hard to watch them year to year but I would not trade it for anything. 2015 was a magical year and falling just short was painful. However, just being in the World Series seemed unreal (Mets fans would know). I still keep the faith even though I always find myself getting heartbroken every year. People may call my fan-hood almost an obsession, but becoming a Mets fan is one of my first memories. It was passed down from my grandfather to my dad, and immediately to me fresh out of the womb. I know I can die a happy man if the Mets win a World Series before my time here is up. It may be a long shot considering their history, but hey Ya Gotta Believe.

  5. Truth be told I was never exposed to baseball as kid and I am still foreign when it comes to watching baseball. I am Hispanic so I grew up on the foundation that soccer was the sport that would steal my heart and be romanticized, I still shed a tear when I see the beautiful game played and 21 men all have their eye on the ball and where the ball will end up next. Reading this article I was confused with all the slang associated with baseball, I had to search up all the terms so I could get an idea of what the author was saying. That is with any sport, every sport has their slang and lingo that would leave the casual fan having to use a thesaurus. Romanticizing a sport seems to be the only time that men can be able to express their emotions and for good reason. Sports capture something in men that very few women can do to men, there is an everlasting beauty with sports. It’s timeless long after you and I are gone the legends and athletes who were exceptional at the game will leave on through the memory of the fans as they pass down the legend of the Great Bambino calling out his next home run. How about Pelé only being 17 years old leading Brazil to their first world cup. Any way you shape it sports and memories and love all have a deep connection that trace back hundreds of years and will continue for hundreds more. For our children and their children’s children to talk about past games like they happened yesterday. It is because of this article that I have started to watch mote baseball and learn more about it, the thing that has managed to capture my attention and my curiosity has been the pitcher. I have heard many baseball fans defend their sport by saying that the pitcher who I would consider the most valuable player could throw a ball in any many of diection or great speeds. I remember looking up what the fastest pitch was in the MLB and I was astounded to see it was 115 mph. Some cars couldn’t even reach that kind of speed, so I could not imagine the kind of power a pitcher needs to perform at the top level. Baseball is a sport I want to get into because it seems like a sport that anyone can pick up and enjoy and feel American, a feeling I have been denied to recently.

  6. Baseball is beautiful game. Professor Shannon and I both know that being a Mets fan is not the most beautiful experience at times, but the game itself is amazing. I had a very different experience growing up with my hometown team than many generations before me. The Mets were God awful my entire time growing up with two notable years of exceptions, 2006 and 2015. But for me, that doesn’t change the fact that there is nowhere I would rather be on a summer evening than in Flushing, Queens at Citi Field. I still bleed orange and blue no matter what. That loyalty is what makes baseball and more narrow, baseball in New York beautiful.
    The last paragraph in this article really encompasses what it is that I love about baseball. While you are at a game, you get lost in the magic. You take a deep breath and are able to take your surroundings in with a beer and a burger and just relax. 162 games give you so many times you can experience the magic in a year and every experience is different. It transports you right back to that child-like magic you first felt when you visited your home team’s stadium for the first time.
    Though much scandal and tragedy has plagued the game that we all know and love. Steroid use and money laundering along with other crime within the sport have drawn people away from the game, especially with the rise of the NFL and NHL, both of which intersect directly with baseball season. This along with the growing reality that people are just not attending sporting events makes for the MLB to continually struggle with certain teams in terms of attendance issues and ticket sales.
    But it is not too late for us all to take in the child-like fun of the game of baseball. New York City has a rich baseball history and anyone who wouldn’t want to explore it is plain silly. Even if you root for the team in pinstripes in the Bronx, baseball can be exhilarating and exciting. Get yourself some peanuts and a huge fountain soda and go cheer on America’s game.

  7. There is no denying that baseball is an American tradition that connects millions of people across the country, continually capturing interest and the attention of its fans. This sport, seemingly slow in its own nature, reminds us to take time and relax, but there is so much more to this sport than the eye can see. Baseball connects us on all levels. The article mentions how we all remember the first time our dad took us to a baseball game, where we hear the roaring cheers and excitement of all of the fans, calling out to their favorite teams, masking in their glory. And no other game of baseball captures the attention of all people other than the Major League Baseball. In 2018, the MLB recorded a record revenue of $10.3 billion in the year, with sights to break this record in the years to come. Bottom line, the MLB captures the attention of older men, as well as the young children who are tagged along. This article reminded me to reminisce about my first MLB experience. I grew up a Red Sox fan down south, which was odd in itself because baseball never compared to the SEC football fan base I learned to love; however, my father always told me to “bleed red” for the Soxs. For my first MLB game, my family and I traveled up to Boston to watch the Red Sox play. From the moment I walked into Fenway Park, I realized that this was something I had never experienced before. The passion and the love for the game was clearly evident through the facial expressions of both my family and the surrounding fans. I was immediately captured by the sounds of Neil Diamond blasting through the speakers. The stadium and the people in it felt like home.

    After this experience, I immediately fell in love with the sport. College baseball played a huge role in deciding where I would go to college. The opportunity to go and watch MLB games also played a role. In short, baseball helped me decide where to go to college. There is so much more to this game then we see on TV. This game is a tradition that brings strangers together, holds family with a competitive edge, and even helps when making decision as big as where to attend college. All in all, I have found a love for this sport. Baseball is the glue to the American people. It is a way to escape from our fast-paced world and it will continue to hold a special place in our culture for years to come.

  8. While looking for an article to write about I was in ecstasy when I saw an article posted about Baseball. Baseball is my favorite sport and the one that I performed that best in during high school. I wasn’t a great athlete or destroyed the ball every time I was up, I just hit it where they weren’t. After reading that first couple of paragraphs I could tell that the article was written in satire of baseball. The article makes fun of many of the famous events in the history of baseball, such as the “Black Sox of 1919”, the Supreme Court ruling about steroid uses in the late 90s and early 2000s, and even through a jab at “Take me out to the Ball Game”. I believe that for someone who didn’t know the history of baseball would find the article confusing and stupid. But as someone who is knowledgeable about the history of America’s Pastime I was able to fish out the humor from the truth. In 1919 the Chicago White Sox played the Cincinnati Reds in the Worlds Series. The powerhouse White Sox led by “Shoeless” Joe Jackson lost in very peculiar ways. After an investigation it was said that the White Sox fixed the Worlds Series and lost the series on purpose. Fixing games damages the integrity and reputation of the great game so the league found no other punishment except to ban the 1919 White Sox from the game. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was and still is considered one of the greatest players of all time not to be in the Hall of Fame. Like the White Sox scandal rocked the baseball world at the start of the century, there was another scandal that rocked the industry at the turn of the new century. The record of home runs in a single season had been set by Babe Ruth in 1927 with 60. This record stood for 34 years till Roger Maris hit 61 dingers in 1961. No one thought the Babes record would ever be broken and people knew that no one every would touch 61 homers in a single season. Then came the summer 1998. There was a great home run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire to see who would set the record. While McGwire set the new record both him and Sosa past Maris’ record of 61. There records stood for 2 seasons till slugger Barry Bonds blasted 73 homers in 2001. After another MVP season in 2002 and 2003 it was speculated that he was using performance enhancing drugs to gain strength. An investigation followed and showed that Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa were all linked to steroid use during there time playing.

  9. As I scrolled through the Shannon web blog, I could not help but click on the article with baseball in the title. I was expecting to find myself reading through an article talking about statistics, world series champions and current contracts. To my surprise, I began to read the article and honestly became lost for a while. The vocabulary and lingo used here does not match up to that used in baseball so i began to wonder. Is this article about a different game? I scrolled back to the beginning and found the picture of a pitcher standing on the mound and then it hit me. the author is writing about baseball, but he is writing it from the way most people in our country understand the game. He uses almost a sense of comedy with the words he writes. “he slips into the snake pit or the “pony man” starts crying,” this type of sentence shows that baseball is a very complex sport and although people may say they understand the game, they do not. More sarcasm is arisen when the author discusses the “87th inning at the game with your father.” Just because you go to the games, does not mean you genuinely get the skill and patients that go into such an excellent game. I believe the deeper meaning throughout this article is that many people have stereotypes about baseball and all the assumptions and judgments on the player or the game itself come from those with a superficial understanding of the game and the work that is put in behind the curtains. The amount of dedication, perseverance and strong minded and willed player that go into making baseball America’s favorite pastime is much deeper than people who do not understand and find nothing wrong with the writing in this article think. Overall, this article is used as a humorous way to display the way people who do not understand baseball perceive the game. Whether it be the lingo used, the mocking sense of sentences, or the way he says everyone thinks they can play the game, the author is indirectly proving his love and appreciation for the sport that most people either think they have or do not have at all.

  10. Baseball seems to encapsulate the American dream with its loose barriers of entry. It really is the only sport in which you don’t have to be freak athlete or have the one in a million body type suited for the NBA or elsewhere. Also the fact that it is a lazy man’s game, and a game of failure. In no other area of professionalism can you fail 6/10 times and win MVP (that would be batting .300, that’s pretty hot). I think that’s why I was so drawn to baseball as a kid. I remember for the longest time all I cared about was golf, but then I found baseball. I would eventually come to quit golf due to the contrasting nature of the different swings, but I never looked back. As my baseball career took off, I was playing in the highest division in my state, and soon enough my team was ranked #1 in the state of Oklahoma for my age group, and I found myself traveling to neighboring states every weekend to play. Let’s just say this lasted until high school, and I found out that there was actually a world outside of baseball, that was a lot more fun.
    When I got to high school, I was already starting to get recruited by schools such as Georgetown, UVA, and others. The only problem here is I did not have the passion required to fuel all of the traveling and practicing and everything else. Years later I would hang my cleats up before my senior season in high school, because my school team was terrible and I wanted to spend my last trimester with my best friends. I do not regret it for a second.
    As soon as the reality set in that I was not good enough to make a career out of this sport, but yet good enough for college, I knew I no longer wanted to continue, I was genuinely burnt-out on the sport. Fast forward to now, 2019, I still am. I can barely watch baseball on TV because it makes me think too much about my playing days. I have thus abandoned baseball in replacing it with soccer, more specifically, the English Premier League. Baseball will always be special to me, we just aren’t quite yet back to speaking terms.

  11. This article written by AJ DiCosimo highlights the amazing moments in baseball that we all very much love. A season that is long awaited through the very cold winter, a season that brings out the fun in summer. Baseball is a sport that is instilled so deep within our hearts that we cherish every moment. The game of baseball has been around for so many years and this is why it is a game that everyone comes together to love. Reading this article, it did give me some kind of nostalgia about what is was like to go to baseball games with my father and sisters. We still go sometimes but it’s not the same as going when you’re little. The writer’s choice of words definitely conveys emotions for the readers of this piece. For example, words like “do you remember,” “romantic,” “you stand in the shadows,” etc. Overall, the write did a great job at making you love the game of baseball even if you never thought you did. One of the most interesting parts of this article is when the writer goes on to explain that “it’s an everyman’s game.” I agree with this idea because baseball is really for everyone, it’s not a skill that needs to be mastered, as long as you have dedication and motivation, the game of baseball is doable. There are many people who think baseball is a boring game because it isn’t as fast pace as some of the sports that are mainstream. Basketball for example, is a very fast-moving sport and can have you at the edge of your seat for an entire game. Football, although sometimes it takes forever to see the teams score a touchdown, it’s at a faster pace than baseball and it’s very aggressive. Baseball on the other hand is a little bit slower and calmer than these other games. Those who love baseball, understand the patience within the game and the idea of why it isn’t as hectic as basketball.
    A story I would like to share is about the time that I played softball. I played softball for about four years and even won an award for most versatile. I loved playing softball and now that I think back to it, I definitely took those moments for granted. Now that I am in college, it’s hard to even find time for myself when I am juggling eighteen credits and a job. Softball was me time, I had so much fun practicing, going into batting cages, and of course the anticipation of winning the game. I can understand the excitement that fans feel when baseball season is coming around, it’s an exhilarating feeling.

  12. Baseball is a sport that has been played in my family for many generations. It is something that we are all a fan of, and love going to a game together, throwing a ball around, or just watching a game from home on a Sunday afternoon. It is a sport that I had played from the time I could walk to high school. One of the best things about baseball, is that you do not have to be “genetically gifted” to play. This is a big reason why it became known as “America’s Game,” because everyone has the ability to play. Another thing with baseball, is that it is the one of the only sports in which getting a hit thirty out of one hundred times is very good. Although AJ Dicosimo repeatedly states how easy baseball is, I can not totally agree. Yes, baseball is a game anyone can play, but it takes a certain set of skills to be a Hall of Fame player, let alone a professional or even Division 1. This is a sport that takes an extreme amount of dedication, with much training and hard work involved. Baseball is not a sport that can be picked up over night with some athleticism but is one that takes time to become good even if you are athletic. With this being the case, often times baseball players are not looked at as being unathletic compared to other sports such as football, basketball, and hockey, but this is extremely false. Every professional baseball player is extremely athletic and has an extremely high level of talent in order to be in the position he is in. As mentioned in Dicosimo’s article, a problem that has been associated with professional baseball, is the use of PEDs also known as Performance Enhancing Drugs. This has been a problem in Major League Baseball for a very long time, and is one that has been questioned to really be a problem or not? Ultimately, Major League Baseball is a business and excels with the interest of fans so this will continue to be an ongoing issue and moral questioning of if performance enhancing drugs are really an issue.

  13. I cannot understand how baseball is fun to watch. I played football, basketball, track, and baseball. I never understood baseball’s appeal. I ended up sitting around for 2 hours and losing interest. I could see the tactics in shifting the outfields and pitchers approaches, but it isn’t enough for me. It is way to slow. I remember every time I played basketball all the little tactics I used, but baseball I just went to the plate and tried to make contact. Football and basketball have multiple encounters with opponents during the game. Baseball, I bat 3-5 times every 2 hours. Personally, I need more encounters in a game. In football, every play has 22 people involved and basketball has 10. Baseball has 3 people a play. I could not find myself playing baseball and gaining as much from it as the article talks about.

    I think a lot of people do not like baseball because we live in a society where everyone wants everything now. Baseball just doesn’t do that. It takes 2 hours and there is not much action compared to other sports. People need to watch NFL Redzone to see all the big plays and people watch the top basketball game to see the greats of the game make big plays. Technology is the reason that this phenomenon is occuring. People are so conditioned look for enjoyment now and not later. I want a video game I buy it online and download it in 20 minutes. Or I buy a TV online and get it shipped to me in a day. People just need things now. Baseball is not the sport that gives pleasure immediately.

    The last thing that I want to address is that baseball is for everyone. I understand that physically you do not have to be Lebron James, but you cannot be unathlethic. Swinging a bat st baseballs coming at you at 90 mph takes skill. Yes, you can teach anyone how to swing a bat, but there is a mental art that you cannot teach. Standing in front of a 90 mph ball takes courage and extreme hand eye coordination to do. People with vision problems would struggle and not be able to thrive. Overall, I believe that baseball isn’t a sport that anyone can play.

  14. When it comes baseball, I think most people at least respect the game. Its called Americas past time for a reason. I think its great for people to at least try once in their lives. I feel like a lot of people play when their young, but usually don’t continue their careers. I played a little bit when I was younger but wasn’t the most passionate for it. I was didn’t but got bored of it. I feel like the game is just too slow pace, but still is enjoyable to watch. You don’t have to be the tallest or the strongest to be good at baseball. I’m sure Babe Ruth had a little bit of beer belly back in the day.
    The unique part of baseball is that the game is one of the easiest to learn. Its good for everyone to give it a try once, but it’s clearly not for everyone. Batting requires great hand eye coordination that doesn’t come easy for most people. Baseball hasn’t changed much in the past 100 years. The game has had a few changes to it, but nothing big. One thing I don’t agree with is how much baseball players get paid. When I hear about some of the contracts these players get, it just shocks me. Baseball is just one of those sports that won’t ever go away. Every time I watch it on TV, it reminds me of the past. It looked the same for a while now, and will continue to be the way is.

  15. Baseball to me is unlike any other sport. The feel, the smell, the simplicity of it, just makes it so different. Baseball has what many other sports cannot and will not ever have. To start baseball has no clock or set time. The game makes its own time. Innings can last a while and some games for hours. I can’t think of another major league sport that has not time limit. Along with this the dimensions of a baseball and look of a baseball field are different everywhere you go. No two baseball stadiums even come close to being the same. The dimensions of the field vary for every stadium which can make the game very interesting for those playing on. Also, the stadiums themselves are indescribable. Some like Red sox have a huge green monster, some have a hotel built in to it like the Blue Jays, some have a pool in the outfield like the Diamond backs, others are just classics like the Yankees or Cubs. It is a game that has every aspect always changing and becoming more interesting. Last and of the most important, anyone can play this game. In the article, it states “You don’t have to be genetically gifted to play baseball, unlike other sports. It’s an everyman’s game. In fact, it’s the only game in which a four-feet-two, three-hundred-and-eighty-pound man can slip into the jelly pool on a routine “barryslap” seven out of ten times and still be a hero”. This game brings people together from across the world speaking different languages, yet at the same time all speak and know the same langue, the langue of baseball. That’s why this sport is special you never know what you are going to get with baseball.

    While some find this sport to be boring, I find it to be magical. I somehow always find myself at some game, whether it be professional, high school or little league. Seeing what this sport does and what it means to people changes the perspective of some many. There are moments in the game that will go down in history, maybe not for being the best or most interesting game but just a single moment. The curse of the bambino being broken, the cubs winning the world series after 108 years, or Mike piazza’s home run after September 11th. “How can you not be romantic about this game?” as the article puts it. It is something I can I always talk to my father about and my grandfather. It has stayed through years and generations to still be just as exciting as it was over 100 years ago. Over generations the game has changed yet has not. In the article, it says at the very end that “it reminds us to slow down, even if it’s just for a second or two to take in the sounds of summer, or the anguished screams coming from the snake pit. To hear those screams is truly to feel like a kid again”. Maybe that’s why people call it Americas past time because it is something a person can always look to past and remember.

  16. Hello all,
    Saying that this article is interesting is an understatement. The language used in this article is a little hard to follow. At times I wasn’t sure if the author was belittling the sport or attempting to promote it. With that being said I personally love baseball season(especially now that the Phillies are projected to be good this season). When I was younger my family and I went to a lot of Philadelphia Phillies games. As a youngster it was hard to follow everything that was going on but the commardare was there. Whether it was the over priced hot dogs, cheesesteaks or beverages going to baseball games with my family was very special. Due to the struggles of the Phillies within the past seven or eight years it was hard to watch most of their games on television. This was especially true for watching in person. Why would anyone want to make the trip all the way to Citizens Bank Park and buy tickets just to watch their team lose. This goes for pretty much any bad team in any professional sport, but for baseball it’s slightly different. This may not be the most popular opinion but when your favorite baseball team is struggling the game can become very boring. If this makes me a fake fan then so be it, but in order for me (and i’m sure many others) to watch a baseball game they at least have to have a chance at winning the game. Nobody is interested in wasting their hard earned money to see their favorite team be uncompetitive. This may be because as a Phillies fan I hold them to such a high standard.
    I started watching baseball religiously around 2006. During this time the Phillies had some success. But their 2008 season is what got all of Philadelphia hooked on the Phillies. The 2008 season was a magical roller coaster with many ups and downs. That season the Phillies finished first in the National League East with ninety two wins. This season they went on to win the World Series with the core of the team being Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge. These players at the time were in the prime of their careers. And who could forget that perfect season with the perfect ending. I remember this so vividly as it was the last professional sports team championship that i have witnessed. Brad Lidge closed out game 5 of the world series with a strikeout. What made this so perfect was that Brad Lidge had a perfect season. As the Phillies closer he had 41 saves in as many attempts, and on the final batter he faced that season he struck out the batter. Even though I may not watch every single game I still consider myself a fan. I was with them for every step in their magical season. That year baseball gained a special place in my heart, and forever made me a fan of the game.

  17. I agree and disagree with parts of AJ DiCosimo’s article, The Ecstatic Beauty of Baseball. DiCosimo’s article is about baseball and his opinions on the sport. I was very confused reading the article the first time, but after reading it over for a second time I could see that some of the terms used in the article started to actually make some sense when I thought more about them. For example, the “turtle slinger” is supposed to be the baseball pitcher. I have some familiarity with the sport of baseball, but I was still unable to understand many of the terms used throughout the article. Maybe it is due to my lack of knowledge in the sport, but some terms from the article seemed fairly odd and, in my opinion, made it more difficult to understand especially for a person reading the article who does not know much about the sport. I think with the terms used, DiCosimo was trying to break down the sport to explain it in a simple manner. I agree with the claim by DiCosimo, “You don’t have to be genetically gifted to play baseball, unlike other sports. It’s an everyman’s game. In fact, it’s the only game in which a four-feet-two, three-hundred-and-eighty-pound man can slip into the jelly pool on a routine “barryslap” seven out of ten times and still be a hero.” And here is why, in baseball, you don’t have to be an extremely fit athlete to do very well like many other sports require. Baseball does not require that you be an athlete at peak performance, and this is shown by some players who had good careers in the sport who were not in the best of physical shape, such as David Wells or George Scott. Baseball favors good hand-eye coordination over peak physical fitness. Baseball is a technical sport requiring you to have extreme precision for things such as hitting a small object moving at an extremely fast speed. In my opinion, baseball is a bit boring to watch but it is important to the history of America as it is so deeply rooted within our culture.

  18. For some reason the game of baseball is magical. For many reasons it is known as America’s favorite past time. Going to the ‘ole ball game’ was once a prestigious activity at a certain time but quickly grew to a blue collar-white collar get together. Maybe baseball is so great because it gathered many individuals for one common purpose. You may be black, you may be white, but what we have in common is the game of baseball. Although baseball was once a segregated sport, its merger between the races was powerful for America. Its because of guys like Jackie Robinson that make the game of baseball just that much better. Its pioneers and wall-breakers that shaped the game’s history today. And because of it the game has benefited from it immensely.

    The article states that “it’s an everyman game.” And that stands to be true and moving. Baseball isn’t a game of measurements. There is no doubt that it can help but what you lack in one place you can make up somewhere else in baseball–very contrary to a sport like football where measurements are 99% of the game. The beauty of baseball is that you do not need to run a 4.3 forty time, or a 40 inch vertical jump. If you are built to hit singles and doubles then there is a place for you. If you are built to hit home runs there is a place for you. If you are built to throw a 90+ mile an hour fastball then guess what?..there’s a place for you. It doesn’t matter how tall you are or how fast you run, rather how well you can hit and how strong your arm is.

    One of my favorite parts of the game is the ending. Not only the final three innings of the game but the true ending–the final out of the game. In other sports like hockey, football, and basketball if you have the possession you are able to “run out the clock.” But to baseball players that is a cowardly act. In baseball there is no clock. There is no running out of time. You in fact have to give the man standing in the batter’s box holding a stick of wood his chance at being the hero. And that is the beauty of baseball. You do not get to play it safe. You do not get to take a knee. You simply have to pitch that ball to the only guy on the field representing the other team. And that one pitch could result in numerous different outcomes that can change the game in an instance. What could be more beautiful, anxious, and unpredictable all at once? Just the final out of baseball.

    The game of baseball takes place in an exciting part of the year. Such a long season played through three different seasons of the year. There is nothing better than going to the ballpark in the middle of the summer, getting a few hot dogs and crackerjack and a nice cold drink. It is easily during the best time of the year and that is another huge reason why it is such a magical game and America’s favorite pastime. You don’t have to worry about bundling up in three coats with hand warmers and hot chocolate. For most of the season you can sit or stand in a pair of shirts, t-shirt and jersey, a baseball cap, and an iced cold beer in your hand enjoying the game. Again, an awesome incentive of baseball.

  19. Baseball is definitely one of the greatest sports ever made and very popular here in the United States. As soon as I saw baseball come up on the blog, I immediately clicked on the link. Baseball and many other sports like football, hockey, and basketball are things that I have grown up with. As some of you may know, I grew up watching the Yankees and have been a huge fan of them for most of my life. Getting to see guys like Mariano Rivera (the greatest closer of all-time), Andy Pettite, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and many others wear the pinstripes and have been very successful over their major league careers while playing for New York. Watching baseball or playing it with friends during summer is what life should be like. Enjoy the moment because you may never get a chance to do it again. As for the actual experience, going to the game and being there in an awesome atmosphere is not the same as being at home watching the game on TV. Over my life, I have been to many Yankees games in the Bronx, a few at Camden Yards in Baltimore against the Orioles, to Tropicana Field to see them play the Rays, and even went all the way out to Anaheim, California to see two Yankee games against the Angels. I absolutely loved being able to watch games in person and really enjoy the experience. I have never been to a playoff baseball game, and that it is one thing on my bucket list for the rest of my life. I was supposed to go to game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros back in October. The one problem was that the Red Sox had other ideas and decided that it would be a good idea to knock out the Yankees in four games on their way to a World Series championship. Yes, I’m still sick of Sox fans telling me that the Yankees suck. Baseball can be boring for some, but it is very exciting for many who truly appreciate the game. I am definitely looking forward to this upcoming summer to watch the Yankees in action and hopefully go see one or two games in the Bronx before school starts up again.

  20. Growing up, I was a huge fan of baseball. I went to games with my dad regularly, I watched every game on TV, and even played until eighth grade. It was a big part of my life, and I think in many ways, defined who I was. After I stopped playing, I started to lose interest in the sport, and eventually stopped watching altogether. More recently however, I have started to appreciate the game more, and have even watched a few games here and there, and I realize how much I still love baseball. I’m the kind of person who could couldn’t care less about sports, but for some reason baseball still resonates with me in a way that few things do. In the article, I think baseball is romanticized almost to the point of misunderstanding. With phrases like “ponyman” or “jelly-pool”, it is easy to misunderstand the meaning of this article, and I think the level of satire shown here makes it so that many would not even know that it is pertaining to baseball at all. I also don’t think I agree when DeCosimo says that “you don’t have to be genetically gifted to play baseball” because I don’t think that is true at all. Yes, baseball might be less physically demanding than football or basketball, but it still takes a lot of skill to be good, and certainly the average guy on the street couldn’t pick up a bat and start playing in the majors. On the other hand, I do understand the sentiment behind that claim and maybe DiCosimo is right. Maybe not every average guy on the street could play in the majors, but every average guy could pick up a baseball glove and throw a ball around. I think that may be the true beauty of baseball — the simplicity of it all, and DiCosimo does touch upon that in the article. It all boils down to a bunch of guys running around on a big lawn for a few hours, and in that sense, anyone could do that, genetically gifted or not. Baseball is often considered America’s pastime, and every time I watch a game, I understand why. It is wholesome in a way that few other sports are, and the atmosphere of a good ballgame is second to none. While baseball isn’t as big a part of my life today as it once was, I still love it all the same.

  21. Baseball is easily one of the most recognizable sports and probably one of the easiest ones to understand. A simple objective with simple rules, which is a reason why many people enjoy following this sport. I myself do not keep up to date with its current event, but it is still interesting to hear big events such as the Bryce Harper deal that recently happened. As the article mentions, anyone can take this sport up which is true, but it takes practice and dedication to master it like any other sport. I do believe still that due to it being easy understand the rules of the game, people are drawn to something that appears to be universal to the general crowd. Hand eye coordination is of course the biggest factors these players they have and it really is something to be seen. Being able to hit a ball that is being thrown at you going 90 mph and knowing the exact moment to swing is without a doubt an impressive standard to reach.
    I would have to agree with Aidan’s comment in regards to the language of the article. The message is not clearly represented and at multiple points I couldn’t tell if the article was mocking or praising the sport until I had made the assumption that this was praise when I had finished. Such terms like “barryslap” that are mentioned didn’t seem like real terms, even if the are specifically for the sport alone. The article could’ve done a better job at describing what the intention was, but regardless baseball does deserve some praise for the skills it needs to become great.
    I would also have to disagree with Aidan when he mentions the comparisons of football and baseball athletes. These are two completely different sports that require different mechanics to focus on. I would be very shocked if a football player could hit a homerun on a 90 mph fastball, just the same as if a baseball player being able to throw a touchdown in the midst of multiple factors happening on the field at once. Yes in some areas they can be compared such as the level of hand eye coordination, but past that it does not seem reasonable to expect athletes in different sports to be able to compete at the same level as they do in their respective positions.

  22. “America’s pastime” … Beers, bratwurst, and barryslaps? The article “The Ecstatic Beauty of Baseball” by AJ DiCosimo was very comical for me to read. I was expecting an article discussing how technology is used in the sport of baseball but what I encountered is quite the opposite. The terminology used by DiCosimo was highly entertaining and somehow I actually understood it. I am not the biggest baseball fan but you will rarely catch me refusing tickets to the local team, the Cleveland Indians, if they are offered. Like most kids my first game is as cliché as it gets. I remember walking in with my father on a hot day being mesmerized by the sheer size of the stadium. I remember the smell of hot dogs and popcorn, I remember the roar of the stadium when there was a homerun, and I remember begging my dad to but me a hat with the Cleveland Indians logo on it. What I don’t remember is who the Indians were playing, what the score was, or who even won the game. But I remember it being one of my favorite days from my childhood. Like the article ends with “to feel like a kid again” is perhaps why I enjoy a day at the ballpark so much. Growing up in Cleveland, well, let’s just say there is not a ton to do. This article reminds me of my experience with baseball growing up. I remember my heroes such as Grady Sizemore and CC Sabathia whose success on the Indians became a staple of my childhood when the whole city rejoiced as we made the playoffs in 2007. Those two players are the “Toots Mckenzie” of my team. And just like the bitter times like the 1917 St. Louis Knickerbangers example, the Indians had some very tough years. In 2012 the Indians had the worst season in team history winning just 68 out of 162 games. But even after the dismissal of Sizemore and Sabathia via trade or living through the 2012 season, attending those games and cheering on the team created some of my favorite memories with family and friends.

  23. While I never been a huge fan of baseball, I feel that this article is truly downplaying the difficulty of the sport. In my opinion, besides golf, baseball is the most boring sport. Even though I feel it is not entertaining, I still understand what it takes to be successful at the game. The author makes it seem like anyone can just pick up a bat, a glove, and just become effective on the diamond field. That is no where near how baseball works. If it just took good eye coordination, their would be way more athletes that become professional baseball players. You do not have to be the most athletic or most skilled as in other sports such as football and basketball, but anybody cant just be effective in the sport of baseball. Imagine a 95 mph fastball coming your way. Then if you hit the ball, you still have to be able to run fast enough to reach the base before the ball reaches it. Not only that, you will have to be able to be great in the field of play as well. You have to be able to have the arm strength and catching ability to play in the field. Their is a lot of different things that factor into playing baseball and being good at it. Their is a reason that baseball players are the highest paid athletes in America.

    Another problem I had with this article was with the language that the author was using. Like in some lines, I was just thinking in my head “what are you talking about” ? In the second paragraph, the author’s analogy just had me confused. The author started that paragraph by saying “for those not familiar with the rules, once the “eyeman” is blindfolded and the snakes have been released, the “turtle slinger” is called.” I am not sure what this means. I just feel that the author could of did a better job with their word choice. With the author down playing the game and the crazy analogies being used, it just made the article unappealing to me.

  24. Baseball has never been the sport that wowed me and after reading the other comments it seems like a lot of other people can relate. Compared to basketball, football, or tennis baseball just never seemed as exiting. I used to play baseball up to the seventh grade and I would never look forward to the long, boring, and uneventful games. I played tennis throughout high school and still play today and have found tennis significantly more exciting. It seems that baseball games just drag on for so long and sometimes games can go hours without any scoring. I understand that it takes a lot of dedication and ambition to get to an expert level at the sport, but most sports require a significant amount of dedication and practice. Also, it seems that multiple players get in trouble for steroid use which is just another reason I don’t find the sport interesting. The only time I read an article regarding a specific evert about baseball, is generally because a player used steroids. I don’t know any other sport that has so many athletes using steroids. I know I criticized the lack of excitement that some baseball games have, but I got to give some fans some credit for the home run derby. I always thought that was great to watch growing up and I’ll still today make an attempt to watch it. I think that games would be more exciting if there was only seven innings, because it will reduce the amount of time and make each run seem more significant. In conclusion, I admire all the successful baseball players, but the sport is just simply to boring for me to watch.

  25. The author AJ DiCosimo wrote an amazing writing piece on the essence of what baseball really is, a historical sport. The game of baseball has been around for many years which is why it is consider to be a sport where almost everyone comes around to love and appreciate. To me baseball was and still is my first favorite sport to watch and play. There is something about this sport that gives goosebumps, anxiety and happiness. Although, there is at one point in the article that I do not agree with him, in which he refers baseball being an “every-man’s game”. I have noticed that with a simple ground ball or fly ball, there are people that have trouble the skill of catching and how to properly swing a bat. But it is true, there has been many complications and issues within the league throughout the years. Those issues have caused many rules and regulations to be created and followed. Especially now, where social media is a gateway to easily discover who uses drugs to enhance a better performance. The article usage of slang sentences brings me to not understand, as I think it display the author indirect appreciation for the sport that most people either think they have or do not have at all. Overall, I think that baseball is not a sport that anyone can play, but can be enjoy watching.

  26. Growing up I was never a huge fan of baseball. This was mainly due to the fact of having immigrant parents who also grew up not watching the sport. I tried on several occasion to get into the sport, but it never really worked. I always found baseball boring to watch, and the references mentioned in this article such as a “Barry slap” or “eye man” remind me just how clueless I am about the sport. The only memories I had of baseball growing up was hearing about how players were constantly caught cheating because they used steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. The one thing I can appreciate about baseball, although I am not a fan, is its tradition. Baseball is America’s pastime and tradition, and its nice to see a sport that virtually any man can play. Unlike the NBA or NHL, you don’t need a huge vertical or electrifying speed to play baseball. In recent years, leagues around the U.S. have been evolving and changing drastically especially those like the NBA who have constantly been making additions to their league so that fans stay interested. One thing I would like to see the MLB doing is taking the game overseas and influencing other areas of the world to take part in the sport. I think this would really help to bolster the leagues fans considering most places overseas don’t even now baseball exists. The reason why soccer so popular is because nearly every country plays it, if it were the same for baseball maybe it would be more popular now in today’s world. In sports like basketball and soccer we have superstars in the likes of Lebron James and Lionel Messi, but baseball doesn’t have that main guy who can elevate their sport to another level. Since basically any man can play baseball despite any athletic ability, we don’t see as many superstars like in other sports which could be another reason as to why the sport has fallen short in popularity. I hope that baseball can one day evolve in a way that would make it more enjoyable to people so that I too can take part in enjoying one of Americas tradition.

  27. I’ll be the first to say that baseball isn’t my favorite sport, but I have the utmost respect for the people who play it. Yes, baseball was America’s pastime, but I believe that has since changed. Baseball is the one sport that has become harder to watch on television as time goes on. AJ DiCosimo put together a great article, I agree with most of his points but there are some I don’t concur with at all.
    DeCosimo says that “You don’t have to be genetically gifted to play baseball.” This is false, in order to really play any sports at a high level you need to be somewhat genetically gifted. Yes, you can train and become better, but not to the point where you’re playing in the MLB or minors. Now I understand that pick up baseball might be easier to learn if the average fan wants to play, but that is for fun.
    The aspect I do agree with is that baseball is better to watch in person. Being at the stadium and the atmosphere around it is unreal. I believe baseball is the one sport where on TV it looks boring but watching in person.
    A negative of baseball is also the length of the game, especially compared to the other sports. The MLB has recently tried to implement new factors to speed up the game in hope of gaining viewers.
    Overall the sport of baseball is good. There is a lot that needs to be fixed in the sport, but the pure essence of the game is still there. You don’t have to like baseball, but you should respect the athletes who play it. If it was easy to play baseball then everyone would do it.

  28. Baseball, Baseball, Baseball, what a wonderful sport I guess; it seems like a favorite sport in the sports industry. I have never been a real fan as I’m to soccer, now I do watch baseball one’s in a blue moon, and it’s a very intriguing sport. I grew up playing soccer my whole life, most if not all of my family play, eat and watch soccer. Of course, I mean to eat in a literal sense but soccer is the one thing that my family shares in common besides being siblings of course. The one thing about baseball as the article mentions is that you do not need to be an expert to play the sport, all you need to know is that you will strike out once you have failed multiple times in attempting to hit the baseball. Baseball just as football season uprises a wave of emotion amongst all fans and once the season starts its game time. Millions of fans are either watching at home or are at the stadium cheering for their favorite teams; true fans are willing to withstand any temperature to watch their favorite teams play. In baseball the single drops of rain can ruin the whole game, the dirt on the diamond field will get nasty and muddy, which will not be in good conditions to keep playing and either the game gets postponed, or the referees wait till the storm passes by and cover up the field. In soccer, the only temperature that stops a game is if lightning bolts are coming down from the sky, rain or snow the game must go on. I remember as a young child freezing my butt off during the winter when we had games, but once I stepped on that field, I forgot about the weather and just played my game. I’m in no way diminishing baseball; I understand why the rain causes a problem to the game overall a field in dangerous conditions just like a soccer field with hills and bumps is very hard to play on. For any game to be exciting, intriguing, fun, and enjoyable, all the players must be in their best shape and show off their skill when playing; I always go to a soccer game to see my favorite players do their thing. ALmost all athletes in any sport train year long to be at their best shape both physically and mentally when it comes to their season openers. All that training pays off by winning and losing games; there will always be ups and downs during the season, but that’s part of the game. One learns to correct their errors when they lose but when a team wins then something must have gone right. Training year long is tough, and it requires a lot of work that will pay off.

  29. In the article, “The Ecstatic Beauty of Baseball,” AJ DiCosimo describes his opinions on baseball which is considered to be one of Americas most popular sport. What’s beautiful about baseball is that the game is so simple on the exterior, it allows fans to think about seemingly tiny details like, what kind of pitches are thrown in what situations, pickoff moves, defensive positioning or bunting techniques. But if you don’t know those details (or you’re not willing to try and learn them) and how they might affect the entire dynamic of the game, everything seems simple, boring and slow. In my opinion, baseball is pastoral. It’s sedate. It thrives on lazy summer days spent at the sandlot or corn field. Kids play it at three and four years old, hitting balls off a tee with no compunctions from parents. However, baseball today is not what it used to be. The great trouble with baseball today is that most of the players are in the game for the money and that’s it, not for the love of it, the excitement of it, the thrill of it. Not only that, many people think they don’t stand a chance of ever being a good baseball player or they simply don’t have the special skill and athleticism required to hit a baseball that’s coming at 95 mph and to catch a baseball that’s whizzing at you at an inconceivable rate of speed. According to AJ, anyone can play this game; one does not have to be “genetically gifted” to play this sport, as you would have to be for other sports.

    To continue, the article states that baseball “it’s an everyman game.” I partially agree, baseball requires a high degree of skill to play well and not everyone understands the concept of baseball. He also mentions how baseball games “remind us to slow down, even if it’s just for a second or two to take in the sounds of summer, or anguished screams coming from the snake pit,” making a person “truly feel like a kid again.” This statement shows how baseball can lift up your spirits. When you are surrounded by chaos, you add unnecessary stress to your life. Baseball games create a peaceful space around you, you’ll be able to breathe deeply and relax more easily. In my opinion, if you didn’t grow up with baseball, it’s hard to get into it later in life.
    Growing up I was a small kid without any real athleticism. My parents didn’t put me into sports because I never really showed any interest. I didn’t show interest because I never knew how to catch a ball, hit a ball properly or shoot a ball into the basket. This made me ignore the world of sports.

    Overall, for people including DiCosimo baseball is a game that embodies the American spirit. It’s about patience (waiting for that good pitch), perseverance (playing through a slump), and seizing any and all opportunities (stealing bases). Baseball is actually more about the situation than the action, itself. The game takes place between pitches as much as it does during and immediately after them. And because an individual baseball play doesn’t provide the variation, creativity, speed, and violence that a play in football or basketball can provide, people see that and think it’s boring and not made for everyone. As mentioned in the article, how we all remember the first time our dad took us to a baseball game, everyone cheering, desperately waiting for their team to hit a home run, this is a feeling every person should experience.

  30. Being a baseball of myself, there’s always something magical once early April comes around. Spring is in the air, blue sky and it’s starting to get warmer outside. For me, this is when I get into the baseball mood. Opening Day is treated that of an American holiday. Baseball games are on practically wherever there is a TV. Being at Opening Day myself, seeing the freshly cut green grass being shined on by the Sun, looking around the sold-out stadium with red, white and blue decor hanging from each seating deck while my favorite team is out on the field with a 0-0 record means anything is possible. It’s a new season. Although I do understand where most of America is at today. 100 years ago baseball was the sport all of America loved. Today baseball is still loved nationwide, the sport that has taken America’s heart is football. Football is my favorite sport too so I can completely understand this. Today’s America wants to see a fast paced sport which is what football is. It always keeps the crowd engaged. When I ask most people why they don’t like or watch baseball, the most common answer is, “it’s not fast enough” or “it’s too slow.” Yes, I can understand that point of view. Going to baseball games in person however, it can go by so fast that soon enough it’ll be the 7th inning stretch. I played baseball growing up too and I agree and disagree with how the article says “anyone can play it and you don’t have to be athletic.” Yes anyone can play it but you need to be athletic. There’s a great deal of speed involved in the game. Especially if you’re hitting at the top of the order, you’re expected to steal bases. If you’re batting 3rd or clean-up, you’re expected to be a slugger and get a big hit or a home run. If you’re a starting pitcher, you have to have a great arm because management is trusting you to pitch 6 to 7 innings hopefully with no runs allowed. If you’re a closer, it’s you’re job to keep that 1-3 run lead and finish the game without choking. It’s a task not many closers are good at or are consistent at. You need to train for a long time to be a solid baseball player. Injuries occur and they can have a huge toll a players longevity. As for someone that loves the sport of baseball, I don’t see it dying because of the deep, American roots it has. The sport is loved by generation after generation and will only continue to grow with each new generation learning the sport.

  31. When I saw this article, I couldn’t stop myself from clicking on it. Baseball is such a big part of my life and I was excited to read about stats, and World Series champions and possibly the biggest stars. After getting through the first few paragraphs, I realized the satire behind the article and how the author is writing from the perspective of people who may not be big baseball fans.
    For me, some of my best memories have been at a baseball field. I’ve travelled to Chicago for games. I’ve seen games in California all the way to Boston. I’ve been at Wrigley Field when the Cubs walked off in the bottom of the 9th. I’ve gotten to surround myself with other Cubs fans while singing “Go Cubs Go!” as loud as we can. I waved my “W” flag for as long as I can remember. I remember staying up until 3 am on a school night to watch the Cubs win the World Series in extra innings and then getting up for class the next morning and try to function the best I could. I pay the money every year for the MLBtv subscription just so I don’t miss any games. I’ve been lucky enough to catch an Ohtani foul ball and proudly showed off the bruise on my arm to prove it.
    This article takes the game that I, and so many other people are so passionate about, and show it from the perspective of a casual, or maybe not a fan at all of baseball. They reference the “eighty-seventh inning” and even being a casual fan, I know how long some games can feel and how they seem to go on forever. The author makes jokes about baseball throughout their article but the one thing they got right is the fact that hearing the sounds of baseball makes you remember what it feels like to be a kid again. It brings you back to weekends at the ballpark, either watching or playing (softball) and reminds you of how much you love the sport.

  32. I love sports so when I came across this article, I had to give it a read. I come from a big baseball family and although I am not a huge baseball fan I still enjoy going to games and watching a couple of innings of a televised regular season or playoff game. The popularity of baseball has dropped since the 1900s as football and basketball are primarily the most watched televised sports due to the hype around individual players and teams. I think professional athletes, and baseball players especially do not get enough credit. The article claims, “You don’t have to be genetically gifted to play baseball”, however, I believe that there is enough skill and talent revolved around baseball that everyday people do not have. It takes a lot of strength and agility to be able to hit a 400-foot home run or throw a 100 mile per hour fastball and I don’t believe baseball players are given enough credit. Baseball players give up a lot to be in a professional league like the MLB. More than half of their year is spent almost entirely without their families, they go on long trips across the country for away games multiple times over those 7 months, and it takes a lot of dedication. I also think that some people are unaware of the impact baseball has on the world around them. I’m from New England so I’m a Red Sox fan and I remember when the Boston Marathon bombing took place how the Red Sox did so much to help the families affected and to bring the city of Boston together after the tragedy. This is something that not everyone could see but being a Sox fan opened my eyes to see how much they truly care about and love the city they wear on their uniform every day. Not to mention how playoff wins and World Series titles unite cities during difficult times. I know that especially in Boston, whenever a major title is won, it causes a change among the people. Everyone is in a good mood and can escape reality for a couple of weeks. They get to celebrate the team’s success and their passion for the game with everyone around them. As for baseball, although its popularity has dropped and is not as high as it used to be, I do not see the hype about baseball dying down. There are too many fans invested and I think baseball with continue to thrive in America.

  33. Growing up a sports fan of all D.C sports teams, I found that this article hits very close to my love of baseball. I come from a big baseball family as my dad played D1 as a lefty pitcher for the College of William & Mary. I personally watch baseball very closely and love the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers. When I saw that the article said one “does not have to be genetically gifted to play baseball” I was in a way upset due to the fact my dad played and I had very many friends who played as well. While watching both professional and high school games one can clearly see that one needs skill as you can’t just step up to the plate and expect to hit a 450 foot homer with a ball coming at you at 95 plus miles per hour. Both pitching and hitting mechanics take skill and take time. Baseball isn’t for everyone as most minor league players don’t even make it to the MLB. In addition, many players come from poor countries where baseball is the only way they can provide for their families and actually are some of the best players in the game.
    Baseball rallies communities together especially during playoff time as they collectively root for their team to win. D.C loves playoff time whether that be for the Nats or the Capitals. The metros are filled with hope and people and when the title is won there is nothing like it. When the capitals won the Stanley Cup the streets were filled with at least 650,000 people and the parade was even bigger than the celebration. While the Nats have yet to win a world series there is hope this year that the same energy will be presented. In conclusion, even though the popularity of baseball has seen a significant dip, younger players breathe energy back into the game and will invite another generation to watch and show how exciting baseball is once again for many more years to come.

  34. I completely disagree with all of the ideas of this post. I have been playing baseball since the time I could walk (I am in college now) and it is the hardest sport on the planet. One thing that I believe backs up that point is that if you put a baseball player into any sport, they will compete. Put a person that has never played baseball in their life and they will look absolutely foolish.
    Now going into some more detail, the first point brought up was that you don’t have to be genetically blessed to play baseball. That’s right, you don’t, but you have incredibly athletic to be able to be on that field. That’s the beauty of it, no matter what position you are, there is no height and weight limit. MLB pitchers range from 5’8” to 6’8”. How many NFL lineman are there that are 5’8”? How many Centers in the NBA are 6’1”? Baseball has to height limit as long as you are athletic and in shape.
    The next point I am going to disagree with was the steroid era in baseball. It wasn’t until 2003 that they started testing for PED’s which in essence means that they weren’t banned by the MLB until then. Baseball in the 90’s was one of the most exciting times for the sport, it brought more excitement to the games. It was good for the league, it was fun for the fans, and for the players it meant bigger contracts. It was an era that paved baseball into what it is today and one that brought many fans to the game of baseball.

  35. I personally am not that big of a fan of baseball, but I agree that watching the game live at a stadium is much more enjoyable. The pace of the sport of baseball is a little too slow for and can be very boring when you are watching it on television, in your living room, with all of the lights off. Personally, I believe that you do need some athleticism to play, but not as much as football or basketball. Baseball players work on four main aspects that you need in order to be decent at the sport, running, hitting, fielding, and throwing. Those are a lot of things to practice, but other sports focus on many more. For example, in basketball, you need to practice how to jump, shoot, pass, run, play defense, blocking, and rebounding. Everyone has their own personal opinion about baseball, but I am really neutral about the sport. There are many good things about it, but there are also many things that make me not want to watch it. If my friends are all getting together and watching a baseball game, I would come and watch with them because it is fun to watch sports with your friends. Baseball also used to be called “America’s favorite pastime”, but football is taken over and took the name for themselves.

  36. As most people close to me know how important baseball is to my life, I could not help myself but to click on the article about the game that has made my life possible. I did however expect a much different article. The authors wording and descriptions were odd yet quite fascinating. The article was very good but I enjoyed reading the past comments more than the article itself. Some of the comments and thought processes are very laughable. I doubt any past students will ever read this post, but with all do respect the first comment posted that I read is perhaps the worst take on baseball I’ve ever read. Baseball is like church, many attend/ watch, but few truly understand. That is what we have here. Its stated in the person’s comment that “[baseball] does not require special talent at something, or the best athleticism is just odd.” It is then further stated that “the thing is the only finesse necessary is hand eye coordination but not even the top hand eye coordination” and “Baseball doesn’t represent peak human performance overall.” I don’t know this person but it is very safe to assume they have never step foot on a baseball field or taken time out of their day to learn about it. Baseball has been scientifically proven to be the most difficult, skillful sport in the world. It takes a MLB player about 150 milliseconds to decide whether to swing or not, 95 miles per hour coming at you from 60 feet 6 inches. That is the blink of an eye, literally. Then baseballs are hit to fielders at an average of 100 miles per hour where they have a glove on their hand as big as 13 inches, cleanly make a play on the ball and make an accurate throw to a base 30 yards away while a runner is sprinting full speed 90 feet to the next base. In my life i’ve played baseball, soccer, basketball, football, and I even golf. Baseball is by far the most difficult and most fun sport I have ever played. You can put an MLB player into another sport such as basketball or football. They can make a basket or catch a football, but vise versa? Not a change. Maybe MLB players aren’t the biggest, the strongest, or the fastest, but that’s the beautiful thing about baseball. Baseball has the most diversity athletic frames such as Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve. Two of baseballs brightest stars, one is a huge 6’7 280 pounds. Aaron judge would be one of the largest players in the NFL, bigger than even future hall of famer Rob Gronkowski. Then we see Jose Altuve, Houston’s star second baseman is a mere 5’6 170 pounds. He is one of the shortest players in the history of the game. I can continue on and on about how much I disagree with that comment but I have made my point.

  37. I must admit that I’m not a huge baseball fan, in fact I’ve never seen an MLB game and I’ve never played the sport. Personally, I disagree with the article since it emphasize the fact that you do not need great athletic skills to practice baseball and reach a professional level in it. Although I respect baseball and I know that it comes with great difficulty, I don’t see how a professional baseball player can be overweight. I see it as positive that anyone can practice and have a good level without requiring good physical skills, but however I do not agree with the fact that a top-level athlete such as MLB players do not need a good physical form. I know that many people will have a different opinion, especially baseball fans, I don’t want to start a war, I just think that a high level sport usually requires a good physical shape and if a sport doesn’t require it, in my opinion, shouldn’t get the qualification of first level sport or have the repercussion that baseball has since there are other sports like soccer, basketball or volleyball for which you do need to be in shape.

  38. In my opinion, baseball is the most beautiful sport that is offered for anyone to play. Growing up, baseball was my favorite sport to play weather it was a pick up game with my friends or a competitive game with my school or travel team that I played for. The game of baseball has a very special place in my heart and it seems as if it does for multiple people around the world. In the article, the author states how a person does not have to be gifted the talent of competing in the game of baseball. Personally, I disagree with this statement. I have had people I played other sports with such as football try and play baseball and some could not even catch a baseball let alone getting into a batters box and attempt to hit an 80 MPH pitch. There is a special talent that people are gifted with at birth in order to play the game of baseball, especially at a high level. Baseball has different athletes participate in the sport than would other sports such as football and hockey. Baseball is a very slow, calm, and patient game compared to football were there is action and physicalness every single play. It takes a very special athlete to be able to compete in a slow sport such as baseball.
    Baseball has a very special place in my life. My father had season tickets to the Yankees when I was younger and he started taking me to games at Yankee Stadium at a very young age. The memories I have of going to professional games and of course playing the game of baseball are memories that I will never forget for the rest of my life. To this day, I remember events that have taken place when playing baseball with or against my very close friends. As many people say, baseball is Americas past time. No sport really compares to the history that baseball has. Most parents first sport they let their children participate in is baseball due to the amount of history that goes with the sport. Baseball molds young adults to mature quickly and also teaches the players how to work as a team. Baseball truly is a beautiful sport and I feel as if everybody should participate in the sport at some point in their lives.

  39. I saw this article and clicked right away mainly because I used to play baseball and am still an active fan so generally when I see “the ecstatic beauty of baseball” I want to click, I realize that baseball isn’t always ecstatic but I was still interested, but as I read I started to realize this was some sort of satire on the game of baseball, I didn’t really get a lot of the references the writer A.J. DiCosimo was trying to make about baseball but clearly I got the jist of the article and understood the criticism he has towards professional baseball, I feel DiCosimo sees baseball as overhyped in the eyes of American culture, DiCosimo feels that Americans and baseball fans will put legendary players up with the likes of Abraham Lincoln and other American hero’s, I think he even throws a dig at Babe Ruth. Regardless I disagree with DiCosimo’s stance on baseball as I feel baseball has been a huge part of American history, like mentioned in the article baseball has been around for over two hundred years and in that time the sports has changed a lot, maybe a hundred years ago baseball did not take a lot of athletic skill or strength but in the current times baseball has become a very physically demanded game, baseball is not a very easy game for a beginner especially when trying to hit a baseball, let alone a 90 mph fast ball that even most professional players cant hit. While baseball might not be very ecstatic, it is still a very beautiful game, the fresh cut grass and newly sprayed white lines always looks so nice to me, I feel growing up baseball also taught me some great life lessons and a sense of team work while also having fun. I think professional baseball takes just as much skill as any other sport, while you dont have to be as physically gifted as LeBron James, baseball still takes a lot of athleticism, with that being said I didn’t find the article very funny.

  40. I grew up going to baseball games with my parents, so I really enjoyed reading this article. I like how the author includes that this game is for everyone, it is not really just for people who are athletically gifted. Anyone who has decent hand-eye coordination will be able to succeed. I actually grew up playing baseball and softball and they both taught me what it meant to be a part of a team.

    I like how the article includes how baseball is a way for all Americans to remember a time in history when we were all brought together. One game that comes to mind on that topic is Mike Piazza’s home run against the Braves right after 9/11, and the city was trying to heal. It was something so minuscule that was able to give New Yorkers just a little hope after thousands of their peers were taken too early. Relating that to what is going on in the world right now, I originally thought bringing sports back would have been a great way for people to gain hope during the pandemic. Honestly, players in the MLB lost a lot of my respect when at the beginning of this season players were angry they would not be paid as much – meaning, a few million dollars less than what they normally have. So many people in the country lost their jobs and are now on food stamps and they are complaining about earning a few million dollars less. I could not believe that when I heard it on the news.

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