71 Reasons to Love Baseball

Lists are great. Here’s Adam Perry debuting on the blog with a great list…

  1. There are 162 games in a regular season, so there is always tomorrow. You can also watch every game live (for a modest fee)
  2. They don’t make you buys new kits each season; they have been wearing the same ones for over 100 years!
  3. 65 balls are used in each game of baseball, so if you are seated on the foul line, you are likely to come away with a souvenir (that’s 160k baseballs used in the regular season)
  4. Games will always continue until there is a winner, 1am, 2am, they don’t care!
  5. Walk-off wins are as exciting as anything anywhere in sports. What other sport do you genuinely not know when and how a game will be won?
  6. The manager still walks up to the mound to physically take the ball off the pitcher every time there is a change. Total waste of time, but that’s baseball!
  7. Some teams will not move stadiums or build on existing ones, even though they could make more money…because its tradition.
  8. Baseball teams travel more than the equivalent of once around the world in the regular season…that’s crazy!
  9. Baseballs are lobbed at batters at over 100 miles per hour from just 60 feet away. Rounders it aint!
  10. You don’t have to leave your seat to enjoy beers, peanuts, hot-dogs etc., they will be thrown to you prior to you trusting everyone in your row to pass down the cash.
  11. Baseball umpires still sometimes wear suits.
  12. There are more statistics in baseball than all other sports put together, therefore a record is broken almost every game.
  13. You could be playing for a team for years and years and then without any warning you could be traded to a team at the other side of the USA and be expected to play for them the next day. Madness, but keeps players on their feet.
  14. They have 2 months of spring training games before they even start the six months of the regular season games with each team having their own stadium in either Florida or Arizona.. just for Spring Training.
  15. Watching a home run sail out of a ball park is one of the most beautiful sights in all sport.
  16. Pitchers warm up in a bull-pen whilst the game is going on. It’s like watching a game within a game. The manager calls the bullpen to make a change using a telephone from the 1970’s.
  17. They sing the national anthem before every single game as well as ‘take me out to the ball game’ in the seventh inning stretch. This means players standing to attention a minimum of 324 times a season (add more for when Toronto play).
  18. This also means they have to find 4,860 people to sing during the season. This can vary from stadium filling rock stars to the General Manager’s niece.
  19. There is a seventh inning stretch where you are encouraged to….well stretch
  20. Baseball films are the best….”build it and they will come”
  21. Baseball players and coaches spend their whole lives eating sunflower seeds or chewing gum. That’s quite the diet!
  22. Unlike other sports, umpires can really ham it up when making a call, flailing their arms in the air and screaming at the top of their voice. Best sport to referee for the amateur dramatist.
  23. You have coaches on the field whose main responsibility is telling players when to run and to give them a high-five when they have done so successfully.
  24. Baseball history has mirrored American history over the last 150 years, for example Jackie Robinson being the first black man to play major league baseball is recognised as one of the most significant advances in civil liberties in the US.
  25. Baseball celebrates their history like no other sport. As an example there is a day dedicated for the aforementioned Jackie Robinson where every player in the major and minor leagues wear Jackie’s shirt number.42. They are not allowed to do so at any other time. That’s respect!
  26. The Chicago Cubs, one of the biggest ball clubs had to wait 108 years in-between World Series wins. Winning can take some time!
  27. Baseballs often end up in beer cups.
  28. The only times team’s change their kit is for special days like Mother’s, Father’s Day and Army Day (Memorial Weekend). In Minor Leagues’ they are more flexible with their days including Star Wars kits on May 4th.
  29. Catchers get to wear nail polish and make-up. Baseball is clearly a good sport to get in touch with your feminine side.
  30. Many baseball teams have names of birds that surely do not exist?! (Orioles, Blue Jays, Cardinals etc.)
  31. You can watch coverage of each game with commentary from the home or away commentators (and sometimes home and away Spanish commentary), not only that they have their own camera angles and roving reporters in the crowd.
  32. If the pitcher hits the batter, it can be often be deemed an act of aggression leading to a long-term feud resulting in more players being hit.
  33. Its 90 feet from home plate to 1st If it was an inch less or an inch more, it would change the whole complexity of the game..It’s perfect!
  34. Fans will be ejected for sticking their hands out from their front row seat if the ball comes anywhere near them. They are free to reach out at any other time.
  35. Umpires and players / coaches argue with their faces inches away from each other. It rarely ends in a kiss, more often it ends with the player / coach being ejected.
  36. If a player is under-performing they may find themselves ‘sent down’ to the minor leagues. Whilst this is not officially a prison sentence, considering some of the backward towns they have to go to, it could be considered one.
  37. As a baseball fan of most teams, you get to sneer at people in the UK with New York Yankees paraphernalia on. They have no idea what they are wearing, but we know the error of their ways.
  38. We, the general public, get to vote for the players in the All Star Game (the only week all other players get a rest). T
  39. The World Series is not the World Series, it’s only the US and Toronto, it’s an old advertising thing. Get over it!
  40. Whilst were on the topic, yes gloves are worn, but the human hand cannot take having a ball thrown at you 70/80mph up to 20 times a day for 6 months. It also makes for some spectacular catching, often with half a body up or over a wall.
  41. One can steal a base in baseball. It’s quite a skill and one for the speedy members of the team. It makes pitchers so nervous that you will often find them looking over their shoulders sheepishly before throwing.
  42. Radio commentators (callers) are the best of any sport. They have to fill the airwaves for a minimum of 550 to 600 hours a year.
  43. The trading and free agent regulations are so confusing that if you understand them, a Statistics PHD is a synch!
  44. The two conferences mentioned above have one differing rule, in the National League, the pitcher has to hit (think no.11 in cricket but ten times worse). When teams play each other from both divisions, confusion ensues.
  45. Baseball is very welcoming to the portly members of society; they often make the best hitters.
  46. Seeing these big lads try and run between bases is quite the sight.
  47. It is still considered a sign of respect to tip ones cap.
  48. Baseball is the only sport that can mess up air traffic control. If a team is travelling straight after the game and the game goes into extra innings, the pilot better leave the engine running.
  49. If the pitcher is unsuccessful 4 times (balls), the player gets to trot to 1st base for free. This is usually accompanied by a ceremonial batflip back to the batboy who will have to pick-up the bat and gloves and anything else the batter has left behind.
  50. There is a lot of sliding in baseball; it makes for great drama and very sandy uniforms.
  51. You get 2 or even 3 people out in one single play. Not only is that unique to baseball, it means you can get to the beer stand quicker between innings.
  52. During the ‘All-Star’ week, they have a HomeRun Derby which is a slogfest like no other.
  53. Sometimes to make-up for games lost to the weather they will have double-headers, 2 games in one day. Double the glory!
  54. Tickets for games are cheap and very accessible and if you go on the right day, you may come away with a free bobble-head.
  55. As a UK fan and a baseball fan, you get to experience parts of the evening you would normally not see, often on an iPad under the covers trying to not wake up your significant other, dog or cat.
  56. Closers are the pitchers who come in at the last innings when a team is ahead by a few runs to ‘save’ the game. What a job! They are the goalkeepers of baseball, they can get all the glory but within a matter of seconds they can ruin all the good work that the team has done.
  57. Baseball fans are the friendliest and most amusing in the world, but for god sakes take your cap off during the national anthem and don’t cut in the line for the condiments.
  58. Grand Slams are amazing! It’s quite the procession to see 4 batters trot around the bases in triumph in readiness for the kissing and cuddling session that commences as each batter reaches home.
  59. Baseball is not just played in North America, it is huge in countries that you know little about such as The Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Holland. Successful players are heralded as gods.
  60. No hitters are when pitchers go through a game without being hit against (obviously). If it is getting late on in a game with a prospective ‘no-hitter’, everything about the game changes, it is no longer about who wins or loses, it is more important. They even have apps to warn you when such an occurrence is in progress.
  61. Fans will go at any length to catch home-run; family members, water features and gravity are no obstacle. If it is a landmark home-run however, the batter may want their ball back.
  62. Baseball is the only US sport with genuine team rivalries that go back over 100 years and are usually based on some sort of curse / witchcraft.
  63. The next batter has to get ‘on deck’ (in view) to warm-up whilst the current batter is at the plate. That means you don’t have to keep looking down at your team sheet to see who is up next.
  64. There is nothing more frustrating in any sport that swinging a baseball bat wildly and hitting thin air. It shows on the players face.
  65. Former players are respected like no others, entering the hall of fame and having your number retired is an accolade unmatched anywhere.
  66. Bunting is a strange phenomenon. It’s basically playing a really rubbish shot to your advantage. There is of course a precise science to this.
  67. Did I mention the statistics? Most are reported as percentages and are far superior to any maths lessons at Primary School.
  68. Coaches have their own sign language when instructing players. Opposition teams have spies everywhere trying to decipher the code. Think ‘Enigma’ but with more waving.
  69. Chants at games are pretty rudimentary. If you can remember the words ‘Let’s Go’ and the name of your favourite team, you are sorted.
  70. Being a baseball fan in the UK feels like being in a secret society with code words and masonic handshakes (high fives).
  71. Every baseball stadium has different dimensions, unlike any other sport, every game is always different because of it.

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