The baseball dilemma


Harrison Wetzel, Staff Writer

Concessions, white spheres, and good vibes is how I would describe baseball in a nutshell. But, America’s pastime has seen a steady decline in viewership and general fan interest. And, while professional baseball has declined because of its own individual problems, I’m here to poise the question “Why aren’t the youth more invested?”

When asked, many people say their problem with baseball is the pace of play. And, by no means is that an invalid argument. Baseball can’t compete with football, basketball, soccer, etc when it comes to action on the playing surface. But, that’s not the core problem; baseball has fallen into a trap that hockey fell into: the division between the traditionalist and newcomers, lack of media promotion, and the main reason, money.

Baseball isn’t the simple backyard game it once was. It’s emerging into a mathematical strategy game rather than a calming game. But, like I said, money is the root of the problem. Without beating around the bush it’s relatively easy to see how expensive baseball can be. Many parents are facing a $500-$600 bill once their kid joins, and that’s what I dub as the hockey problem. It’s a ginormous commitment for the youth to join, that requires time, patience, and extreme amounts of money, that quite frankly many parents can’t commit to.

If this dilemma isn’t solved, I fear what baseball might evolve into. Once hockey saw this problem, the game became secluded. A casual fan didn’t have the capability to just go play hockey or catch a game. Instead, it turned into a cult that only a select demographic could understand and enjoy. Youth travel baseball is doing this exact same thing. Now, that’s not to say other sports don’t have these same flaws, but many offer cheaper versions, or the game itself is more accessible without being in an organized league. Baseball must reinvigorate itself back into the average fan’s heart. If it doesn’t we might watch its demise right in front of our eyes.