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Baseball: A US institution?

18th November 2012

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Baseball is just like rounders except at the end Lynrd Skynyrd play a concert, and generally it doesn’t tend to start raining half way through.

The other week I was given the absolute privilege of being able to go along to ‘the ball game’ with a real American family. I didn’t know what to make of it to be honest. There was a huge amount of hype and all these Americans seemed to be getting very excited over what was essentially rounders. There’s lots of music and gigantic screens in which over the top graphics shouting things like ‘home run!’ and ‘that’s a hit!’

To be honest, I don’t understand what the point is in saying that it was a hit. I mean, surely, that’s the most basic need for a Baseball player to be able to do? He’s being paid professionally to hit balls across a field using some wood, and if he can’t even do that then there is no point in him even being on the team.

The game of Baseball, is, of course, completely different to Softball, in which apparently a larger, yet softer ball is used. Other than that it’s basically the same. This is how it was explained to me by helpful Americans on either side of me. I would imagine though that if Softball really is a completely different game, it would therefore by default be interesting to watch for three hours at a time.

It’s also a very similar game to Cricket, although Cricket is far more civilised, if I’m honest. Baseball has become this game in which these stupendous graphics flash all over the screen and the players, each with their own pre-prepared VTs and intro songs, turn around to look determined at the camera. It’s all a bit X-Factor for me, I was half expecting Peter Dickson, the voice of X-Factor in the UK, to yell their names incomprehensibly as they walked out onto the field. It’s not just me who thinks this: take along English people of my age to an American baseball game and by default you start yelling the players names at the person next to you in a bad impression of Dickson himself.

All of this also doesn’t happen in secondary school rounders, which you’re forced to play on the days when it’s sunny so that all afternoon you can then complain of a headache from being out in the sun for too long. You’re also always the last one to get picked, not that I have personal experience of that at all.

Admit it America, it isn’t that special. It also isn’t your sport. Get over yourselves.

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