It's Opening Day for most Major League Baseball teams and it's Trivia Night at Bacchus at 7pm.
Let today be the day you enjoy the refreshment of a $3 margarita and a $4 Baker + Butcher sandwich. Join us!
Major League Baseball may indeed rank a poor third to football and basketball in television ratings, but the game remains the National Pastime because it resonates more deeply in the country's soul than any other sport.
All Men Love to Play at the National Pastime (click the video)
We love baseball, but how does it qualify to be the National Pastime?
Just in case you’re wondering, here’s one dictionary definition of pastime:
“An activity that you enjoy doing during your free time.”
That name became associated with baseball because, at one time, people across the country were captivated by playing or watching baseball games in person or by reading accounts of it in newspapers. For anybody who has followed the game or followed a team, you know that baseball’s past is tied to spirit of the game. Many of today’s baseball fans remember baseball’s past, going back three or four decades or more. (Just ask any Boston Red Sox fan.)
Baseball fans remember the players, the teams they were on, the plays they made and the exciting games. They also recall games that were meaningful at certain times in our nation’s history. They remember when significant records fell and when long-suffering teams finally tasted some success.
If football fans get excited about a game, baseball fans celebrate the game itself.
They don’t just enjoy a few games—they enjoy the history of it. In 1994, Ken Burns, the famous documentarian, chose Baseball as a topic to focus on. His nine-part series covered the history of the game, dealing mostly with its past and less on its present. That’s what made it so interesting. To baseball fans, at least.
American football-only fans would like everyone else to think that baseball is dead. But in 2016, baseball was as popular as ever. Attendance at most parks is still high and the revenue teams generate is strong. And the World Series win by the Chicago Cubs was an epic triumph.
Every year, baseball fans still look forward to Opening Day. They still go to Spring Training games in March that are “meaningless.” Across the country, people of all ages still play baseball (and softball)…probably more so than they play a friendly game of football. Here in Hawaii, the UH team can get hot. :-)
The late comedian George Carlin had this incredibly insightful and funny routine that compared football to baseball. His observed that football has a military war-type sensibility about it (long bombs, field general, blitzes, sudden death, helmets) while baseball terms suggest a friendly game (parks, diamonds, heading home, home runs, extra innings, ball caps).
Baseball is a more leisurely sport, but it’s still competitive. It has a long history and it’s still played by people of all ages. It’s still popular with fans who very likely enjoy watching baseball and football. Many true baseball fans probably watch football every Sunday and the Super Bowl every February. They like both games for different reasons.