I love baseball. I do. We all love it. Why wouldn’t we? It’s America’s pastime. Unfortunately the start of baseball season has been eclipsed by the Stanley Cup playoffs this year for me. This is just terrible. I need to apologize to baseball for that. And as I tried to formulate how I would go about apologizing to an inanimate object, I started wondering, why is baseball America’s pastime?
And since I know every single one of you are wondering the same thing, I took the liberty to do the research for all of us…you’re welcome guys. And wouldn’t you know it, wikipedia had the answer right there for me. (I only use wikipedia for my research. I’d be a terrible investigative reporter.)
As it turns out baseball was originated from a very popular game in Great Britain and Ireland called “Rounders“, which, get this, has exactly the same rules as baseball. I know, I was surprised as well. But then I was a little confused as to how this tidbit of information answered my question about why baseball was America’s pastime, but stick with me here, wikipedia clarified it for me.
Turns out in the 19th and 20th centuries (apparently I’m not very well educated because I had to double check what years that would have been. It was the 1800-1900’s. I had terrible schooling) baseball aka “the sport formerly known as rounders”, was the most widely played sport in the country. So as far as I can tell the Brits and Irishmen came over to the good ol’ US of A and taught everyone the game. And it was pretty much the only game they knew how to play. According to my good pal, wikipedia, it says baseball was as popular then as video games and tv are today. Baseball was the way they, dare I say it, passed time. And because all Americans had for fun was playing and watching baseball that’s what they did.
They all shared the common bond of baseball, it united all humans. They talked about it while plowing the fields, waiting for the bus, after school, before school, while eating dinner, at the grocery store, buying new shoes, eating Chinese food, pretty much during any activity, the discussion was centered on baseball
And then wikipedia went on to be depressing and told me that there really is no national pastime anymore. Apparently America is just to ‘splintered’, whatever that means. Stupid internet age.
With my best college thinking skills I came to the conclusion that America needs to revive baseball as its pastime. The world is too sad without it. We need to discuss it at the water coolers and bus stops again. (Also maybe I should start hanging out at water coolers. Turns out a lot of conversations happen at those)
In my attempt to make baseball America’s pastime again I’ve come up with a handy list of conversation starters. If we all use this list then we’ll all be talking about baseball and then we’ll all be centering our lives on it again, thus, pastime. So ya, this plan is basically flawless.
- So how ’bout those Yankees? They have really high payroll! And terrible fan base!
- Hey, do you know how many stitches there are in an MLB regulation baseball? Me neither! Let’s count them together!
- So…the allstar game is in Kansas City this year. There’ll probably be cows and stuff in the outfield, cause you know, Midwest.
- Do you find the Cleveland Indians mascot to be slightly racist?
- Guess who my favorite player is! And no, I won’t give you any hints! (This is a great one if you want your conversation to last hours, there are a lot of baseball players in the world)
- So RBI’s. Runs batted ins? ha. They should just call it RBI. Ha!
- What kind of wood do you prefer for your baseball bat to be made of?
- You ever seen The Sandlot? That Squints! He’s a riot!
- Would you rather take a 100 mph fastball to the thigh or the back?
- Want to race around the bases? (This one only works if you are someone who just hangs out on baseball fields or an actual baseball player.)
- Who’s your favorite baseball mascot? That green Phillies thing?
- Would you rather lick the pitchers rosin bag, or run full speed into the Green Monster in Boston?
- Who’s your least favorite Yankee: Jeter or A-Rod?
It’s pretty simple guys. Anytime there’s an awkward silence, just blurt out one of those things up there. And soon enough everyone will be talking about baseball again.
Bingo! Bango! Bongo! America’s pastime.
You’re welcome America.