After thinking for several days on which sport I would choose to argue is the best sport in the world, I decided to choose basball.
Why? Because as you'll read below, baseball transcends the world of sports, has helped us address important societal issues, and has made the popularity of other sports here in America and around the world possible.
This post is an entry into Scorum Witness @kennybll's contest askng "what is the best sport and why?"
A Brief History of Baseball
The roots of what we know as baseball today date back to the 18th Centry. The game was being played sporadically throughout America in backyards and in local parks, but rules were not clearly defined. The game at the time included literally hitting runners with the baseball in order to get them out.
In 1845, the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club was established, and along with it came defined rules that banned hitting players with the baseball, outlined the baseball diamond field, created the three-strike rule, and more. The first official game was played in 1846 against a team of cricket players.
Since the late 19th Century, baseball has been regarded as and is still America's game. The first major sports league created in the United States was Major League Baseball, founded in 1903, 14 years before the NHL and 17 years prior to the start of the NFL.
Today, more people attend MLB games than the NFL, NHL, and NBA combined.
More Than America's Pastime
Called America's pastime, baseball is much more than that because of it's significance in our history as a country. It's not a pastime, it's part of the fabric of our country. Baseball laid the foundation for American sports leagues, inspired the invention of the baseball card, and because of it, sports collectibles, aided in Civil Rights efforts, and so much more.
At a time of extreme racism and inequality, a young Jackie Robinson became the first African American baseball player to play in a MLB game on April 15, 1947. His debut and success paved the way for others to join the sport and other sports. It also furthered the conversation of race and equality, which eventually led to change.
Seen in the movie A League of Their Own starring Tom Hanks, women playing baseball on a national stage was the result of the growing popularity in baseball and America's entrance into World War II. With brave young men fighting overseas, baseball organizers relied on women to keep the sport alive and of interest to spectators. Their play also helped maintain a sense of entertainment and hope among the chaos of these times.
For me personally, baseball is a game that connects us together. From going to games with my dad, to taking my two sons to a ballgame, to going with a big group of friends all with different backgrounds, baseball is everyone's game. From young children to men and women 100-years-old, baseball is a game that's inclusive to all, and easy to understand and enjoy.
A Game Played Around the World
Unlike American football, baseball is a game that is played around the world. In the World Baseball Classic and the Olympics, which is once again implementing baseball into the Summer Olympics in 2020, teams of players from around the world come together to enjoy their favorite game and compete to earn the honor of being the best baseball-playing country in the world.
Baseball is truly a game that is played around the world. An astounding 49 countries have supplied players to the MLB in its history, led by Japan, Columbia, and the Dominican Republic.
Conclusion: Why Baseball is the Best Sport
Baseball is a game for everyone. Men and women, people of all backgrounds and ethnicities, those with disabilities, and those who are young and old can play, watch and enjoy the game of baseball. And isn't that what a great sport should do and represent?
What do you think? Is baseball the best sport? Comment below and thanks for reading and supporting this post.