Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks; I don’t care if I ever get back! The classic American sport of Major League Baseball attracts people of all ages, and with 30 different teams, everyone has someone to root for.
On April 4th the MLB had its 2012 spring season opening bringing in an audience of as much as 50,000 people by the Atlanta Braves, and the fewest being 18,000 by the Cleveland Indians. According to Forbes, the overall average attendance for all teams is 34,900 fans per game. That number does not include the viewers watching at home on the television or listening on the radio.
What makes baseball so appealing? Many different aspects other than the game itself draw people to it.
“It gives me something to watch during the summer after school gets out, and I like to sit back and unwind with a game or two. Though each game takes about 3 hours, I find them very relaxing and enjoyable to watch,” Julio Solano, junior, said.
Not only is a long stretch of continuous baseball appreciated by those who like to relax on a summer night, being at the game in live time is also a favorite past-time of many Americans. The atmosphere, food, half-time entertainment, and getting to watch the action live all contribute to the experience.
“Getting to go to Seattle Mariner’s games is something I look forward to every summer! The crazy fans, fresh air, the possibility of an amazing play that will be on replay on Sports Center all night…and not to mention the hot dogs of course!” Hannah Stipek, sophomore said.
Baseball is an American tradition that has spread world-wide. Along with the popularity, the salaries of MLB players are also on the rise.
According to USA Today salaries, the New York Yankees are the highest paid team with a total payroll of $197,962,289. The top salary belonging to third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, with a salary of $30,000,000.
Granted, this isn’t the salary of most baseball players, yet their salary caps are among the highest of any professional sport. Depending on the individual, some believe that the rocketing salaries are deserved, others do not.
“Players definitely deserve it, hitting a 98 mile/hour fastball is the most difficult task in all of professional sports, response time is less than 2 seconds,” Victor Rose, senior, said.
Although baseball does require much skill like any other sport, some think the bang of the bat is worth the buck.
“I love baseball, but some players don’t deserve as much as they earn. It’s just not as physically and mentally demanding as much as other sports. Like football and basketball are much more fast-paced and involve more strategy in most cases. Of course they’re professionals, they should get paid a lot…just not so much,” Stipek said.
Regardless of pay, Americans still enjoy watching MLB all the same. It can be a new sport for some, others it has been around for a while, keeping it a family tradition. Especially when it comes to home-town teams.
“My favorite team is the Los Angeles Dodgers…I’m a So Cal native, plus my dad grew up watching them and I kind of followed in his footsteps,” Solano said.
Whether you like the Angels or Dodgers, Yankees or Red Sox, baseball season is in full swing. Make sure to keep up on all the action by watching the games or visiting mlb.com.