Is Baseball Still America's Pastime?

By Nicholas Petkewich
May. 15, 2018

"Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet." The jingle from the famous 1970s Chevrolet commercial emphasizes how baseball is a staple of American culture.

Baseball has always been by Americans' sides, but now football may have ruined the party.

Problem at Stake: Baseball as America's Pastime.

Solution: Read on.

Baseball is the oldest sport in America. It was invented in New York City by a volunteer firefighter and bank clerk named Alexander Joy Cartwright. He created the original rules for baseball. Cartwright's sports group, the New York Knickerbockers, played the first of baseball against a team of cricket players in 1846. Then a tradition began.

Baseball has been around by the sides of Americans like a lovable dog to a caring owner. Baseball is the sport to open up your backyard on a summer day like a grille is to setting up an outdoor summer party. Yes baseball is our friend and it has stuck around for a while.

So, why is baseball in question of still being America's pastime? Say hello to the other best friend of Americans: football.

Football is the most popular sport in America. By far. It is not even close. There is no tortoise and hare race here, cause football is the only one in the race, against itself.

Football brings in more revenue and more fans than any other sport in America. The NFL took home a whopping $13 billion dollar revenue in 2014. Baseball took home about $9.5 billion.

For viewers in America football still takes command. In the first half of this year, the NFL has the most spots in the top ten of the most watched sports shows. In fact, the NFL has ALL the spots in the top ten. It also has eighteen of the top fifty compared to baseball with only two spots. In 2016, the NFL had 33 of the top 50 watched sports shows, compared to baseball with three, all in the World Series. The Super Bowl even has 19 0f the top 20 most watched programs in American history. 19/20!!!

Based on a recent Harris poll that has measured the favorite sport of adult fans for the past 30+ years, the NFL has consistently been the top pick chosen for every year. With a 35% vote, the NFL beat the MLB, who only had a 14% vote.

So, why should baseball even been thought of as America's pastime anymore? Isn't football the king of America.

Well, the numbers may show that, but history can speak otherwise.

As Chevrolet once made famous in an ad run in the 1970s, America is based on  "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet." The ad was meant to obviously sponsor Chevrolet, but also at the same time the ad was showcasing the core values of America and including baseball as one of those values.

Chevrolet brought back the ad in 2012 as well to show how America's core has remained the same.

The newly revised ad meant to firmly cement baseball as being still America's pastime and to remind everyone of the American core spirit.

Baseball has been at our core forever. We have always gathered around to watch it. What is better than Opening Day of baseball (which in my opinion should be a national holiday)? What about those summer games in the heat of the afternoon when the sun is up and the days are dragging on? Baseball comes to save the day. How about those pennant chases at the end of the season when teams are fighting for a playoff spot. What about the baseball playoffs, the amazing, edge-of-your seat games that take over the month of October?

Finally, who can forget about the Fall Classic? It is the best week of baseball in the whole year, and one of the most exciting events in sports.

Last year's Game 7 of the World Series drew over 40 million viewers, a major rise compared to recent years. This year, the World Series beat out Sunday Night Football for the second year in a row. The last game of this year's World Series drew over 30 million viewers. These two year viewership rises show how baseball is making a comeback in sports.

Baseball is even looking to attract younger viewers as it failed to do in recent years. With the steroid era in the 1990s and 2000s, it brought down the love for baseball. The fact that baseball was full of cheaters upset fans and had them move to other sports.

Also, the slow-paced, 3 hours+ commitment of watching a baseball game moved fans away and to other sports. Not only was football in the mix, but basketball in the NBA became a major benefactor to the decline in baseball. Now the NBA is the second most watched sport in America.

However, the addition of young stars and nail-biting games has brought fans back to baseball. Young stars are bringing the old love for baseball back into the game, as they play with pride and morality and grit.

You have cemented young studs like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, and Kris Bryant. You have the newest players to the MLB like Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger, Carlos Correa, and Andrew Benintendi. Plus, you cannot forget the old stars like Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, Miguel Cabrera, and Dustin Pedroia. All these players bring passion and drive to the game of baseball and help build its popularity.

Baseball has always been there for us. It is our springtime friend, our summer love, and our fall fantasy. We have needed baseball for over 150 years, and now it needs us back. Football may have taken command, but baseball still sticks around and is growing back to its former prominence of claiming the spot of being on the TV of all our houses.

Baseball was America's pastime long ago when int first started, and still is now.

Just like hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet are staples of American culture, baseball, invented for our enjoyment when back when America was starting out, is another one of the big fixtures in the American life and is forever the pastime of America.

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