On Baseball

I was raised in an era in which baseball was he major sport in America, it was before the emergence of professional football and later professional basketball. People lived and died with “their team.” Those who played the sport were young men from the farms and city streets who barely got through elementary school. Baseball for them was a road out of working seven days a week on the farm or seeking a buck in the slums of a city. They played with fervor and daring since having an opportunity to actually be paid a few dollars while playing ball was a miracle in their lives.

Any player who did not leave the batter’s box at full speed and dash towards first base soon found himself off the team. Being on a team meant the end of poverty and now they might earn two thousand dollars a year, and, if good, perhaps give thousand. Major league baseball players were on the D-Day beaches and fought in jungle islands. They flew planes into combat and many died during WWII or the Korean War. They not only loved playing ball but loved their country.

Observe a modern baseball game and one notes about half the players will run like fury out of the box. During the game many awaiting their turn at bat play with iPads and chat about life. Ted Williams, the greatest hitter of the 20th century spent his time gazing intently at the opposing pitcher,noting each pitch in his attempt to determine which pitches would be sent his way. Today, we have hundreds of spoiled young men who regard baseball as a means for money-period!

A group of baseball players have been banned for about 50 games. I assume their business career has encountered a slight bump in the road. They will return to their iPads and laziness. They also mark the end of an era of baseball.