I recently read a stellar blog article titled “An Argument for the Supremacy of Baseball” by Bill Gernenz.
Finally, someone who “gets it.”
I’ve argued for a lifetime that baseball is by far the superior sport of all the sports played. Specifically, I’ve stated more than once that baseball is a “cerebral” game. Not only must you be an athlete, but you gotta be a smart athlete. The term “baseball IQ” wasn’t created just to describe a smart player; it was created to separate the players who understood the game from the ones who didn’t.
Here’s the list of reasons given by Gernenz to make the case for the supremacy of baseball. I’ll add a few at the end.
- Spring Training.
- Opening Day — the ceremony of baseball’s opening day is unparalleled.
- Ballparks — The venues in baseball are far superior. There is simply no football equivalent to Wrigley or Fenway. More intimate, more friendly, better atmosphere… again, no comparison.
- The “Seventh Inning Stretch” & “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” — enough said.
- Stats… baseball has better stats.
- “The Clubhouse” vs. “The Locker Room” — the way teams come together in baseball is far superior to the way teams operate in other sports.
- 27 outs. It doesn’t matter if a team is down by one run or ten runs, their opponent still has to get that 27th out. Without a clock in charge, there’s always a chance, however small. You can never “run down the clock”
- Every Day — There is baseball every day. A grueling schedule is demanding and also gives a better gauge of who the best teams are.
- Extra Innings — the only sport that really knows how to break a tie.
- Pennant Races
- No-hitters, shut-outs, and “The perfect game”
- Playing Catch — This is related to the ballpark argument and really goes has more to do with the whole nostalgia of the game… no other sport compares with it.
- Baseball cards.
- SKILL — Baseball is a much better “skill” sport. You have to field AND hit. And hitting a baseball is arguably the most difficult thing to do in sports. It is the hardest sport to play at the MLB level. Almost never do you find a guy from high school or even college come right out and make an immediate impact.
- Minor League Baseball
- the College World Series
- the Little League World Series — Setting aside my animosity for committing too much family time to a sport at that age, the fact remains — I have never heard of a PeeWee Football Super Bowl.
- Better movies — The Natural, Field of Dreams, A League of Their Own, the Sandlot, even For the Love of the Game and Bad News Bears.
- Better Heroes — I recognize greatness in other sports, but not one has the same legacy of baseball: Cal Ripkin, Jr., Ernie Banks, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, and Jackie Robinson.
- Simply put… Baseball builds better men. Just a fact.
Those are 20 good reasons – not a one can be disputed. But, I’ll try to add to them:
1. The All Star Game – it matters.
2. It’s historical, multi-generational, easily accessible, and easily understandable all rolled into one.
3. On any given day, someone can be a hero.
4. Statistics. And, they got better with Sabermetrics.
5. The underlying, multi-facted strategy within the game. For example, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, with one out, do you pitch to a batter who is 0-2 (but he’s batting .300, which means, according to averages, he’ll get a hit this time) and get an out, or do you walk the batter to set up a double play? By the way, your pitcher is approaching a high pitch count, but he’s been effective thus far. Do you leave him in, even though this means your righty on the mound faces a lefty in the box, or do you bring in the lefty (who, incidentally, gave up a hit to a lefty last night)? You see, we’re dealing with some serious stuff here!
6. Announcers. Guys like Vin Scully, Harry Caray, and Joe Buck. I’d even put Bob Costas in that mix. These are guys who would sound as good on the radio as on TV.
7. Music commentary. There’s nothing like the organist playing “3 Blind Mice” after the umps blew a call.
8. Arguments. Players and mangers arguing a call highlight the sport. Often animated, these can be quite entertaining.
9. Anyone can play. Dustin Pedroia is 5’8 and Randy Johnson was 6’6. You don’t have to be an extreme physical specimen to have a chance.
10. Instant accountability. If someone makes an error, everyone knows it.
11. It’s a difficult game to achieve success. Just ask Michael Jordan.
So, there it is. Confirmed. Baseball is supreme.