aseball has defined America for years

James Earl Jones put baseball in the best perspective during the movie “Field of Dreams.”
To sum him up, Jones’ character said through all the changes America has undergone over the past 100-plus years, baseball has remained the only constant.
A constant that has held American society together through love and war.
As a young college student, I haven’t lived through many hard times. But that doesn’t mean I don’t share the love for baseball that has shaped America since the late 1800s.
Nowadays, I’m beginning to feel I’m in a minority when it comes to having a love for baseball.
Every time I say I cover baseball for The Minnesota Daily, all I hear is “Baseball is too boring,” or “Baseball is too slow,” or my favorite, “Baseball takes no skill.”
For as long as I can remember I’ve been a fan of baseball. I used to stay up late during the summer just to listen to the end of Red Sox games.
I’ve been to over 250 Red Sox games at Fenway Park in Boston, and I still get chills whenever I walk in and take a look at the field.
I’ve been to 15 major league ballparks all over the country, and will go to all 30 before I die (or get married).
Call me a traditionalist, because that’s what I am. Baseball is the most entertaining sport in the world. I just don’t understand why so many people hate it.
I’ll be the first to admit baseball isn’t a fast-paced game. That’s an obvious statement. But that’s why baseball is so beautiful; it’s a game of strategy for the fans.
It’s not football where the guys run around and tackle each other. It’s not basketball, where the only part with any importance is the final five minutes of the fourth quarter. And god knows it’s not WWF wrestling, the fakest thing since breast implants.
Baseball is a game for the mind. What other sport can a fan try to guess what pitch the pitcher should throw next? Or whether or not the hitter should bunt? Or if the runner should attempt to steal?
None. Baseball gives the fans reason to pay attention to the entire game.
Critics of baseball will also say it takes no athleticism. Riiiiight. No athleticism? People who think that should get their ass off their couch and try to play baseball.
In fact, why don’t you try something similar when you get a chance. Put a golf ball on a tee in front of your house. Have a friend drive a car at 90 mph down the street. Hang your body out the window with a bat in hand and try to hit the ball off the tee.
That’s what it’s like hitting a Pedro Martinez fastball.
It’s the toughest thing to do in all of sports. Hit a sphere coming at different speeds with a heavy wooden bat that weighs a lot more than the can of beer you just finished.
My only complaint towards the game of baseball is this: I can’t play it. I can’t hit, I can’t pitch and I can’t field. I proved these things in my brief little league career, in which I made more errors each season than I had hits.
But that will never stop me from loving baseball. It will forever be the constant that holds my life together.

John R. Carter covers baseball and welcomes comments at [email protected]