The roar of the crowd, the delicious hotdogs, and the chance of catching a foul ball to claim it as your own. These things (among many) help make baseball a popular sport. But aside from these reasons, why is baseball so popular?
Baseball’s popularity came from years of fun, fame, and excitement. Ask different fans of the sport about the reasons why they love this activity and you’ll get different answers. Some of those reasons include the following:
• America’s National Pastime
• No prior experience required
• It’s Fun and exciting
• Promotes physical and mental exercise
Baseball sparks the hearts of sports fans everywhere with bright blazes. Keep reading to know more about these reasons why baseball is popular among athletes and enthusiasts alike.
5 Reasons Why Baseball is So Popular
Before checking out the 5 reasons for baseball’s popularity, check out this video to gain a quick preview on the sport’s fame:
1. A Case of Nostalgia
Many sports fans crave nostalgia, and baseball is a nostalgic activity. Baseball in the United States has existed for over a century, allowing many people to enjoy this activity for several years.
Baseball in the United States: A Brief History
The history of baseball in the US dates back to the 18th century when kids started playing the game by making their equipment. The amateur men’s ball clubs started forming in the 1830s.
Although the sport’s popularity didn’t grow until the early 1800s, the earliest recorded mention of the sport was in 1786. During this year, a Princeton student wrote that she played “baste ball” and referred to the game as a “game of baseball.” In 1791, a Massachusetts town meeting house was designed to keep the playing of baseball out of view of its windows. There were also reports of the sport being played on the outskirts of New York in 1823, despite not having an extensive set of rules at that time.
2. It's America’s National Pastime
As mentioned in the previous section, baseball invokes nostalgic feelings in many sports fans. Since the sport has been around for generations, it became America’s National Pastime for several years.
Throughout the years, many famous people entered and left the baseball scene. Talk about names like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and you’ll encounter people who can talk for hours about these athletes. Mention teams like the 1927 Yankees or the 1934 Cardinals, and you’ll find people who’ll talk about these topics with glee.
Over time, the title ‘America’s Favorite National Pastime’ started appearing on many offline and online articles. Although the National Football League (NFL) has more spectators than the Major League Baseball (MLB), many would still argue and prove their love for what many believe to be the nation’s pastime.
3. No Experience Required
Many sports require a high level of athletic ability to be considered for a spot in the team. On the other hand, many people can start playing baseball without any significant level of skill for the sport. With baseball, it often only requires an individual’s natural quality, which is often defined by a person’s ability to keep an eye on the ball and have good hand-eye coordination. You can start with zero skill in baseball, and, with enough practice and dedication, you can make it to the big leagues.
Here’s a list of some of the things to practice on if you want to start playing baseball:
You also need to learn the basic rules of the game. But remember that these guidelines will promote fair play, which are requirements to make the sport as fun as possible for everyone. If you want to learn more about this sport’s rules, check out our post on Basic Rules of Baseball and How to Play (Complete Guide).
4. It's Fun and Exciting
One of the great things about baseball is that it allows fans to make their own decisions regarding the game’s play. The intervals between pitches allow each fan to make their judgment. It keeps both fans and players on their toes as the game unfolds at a leisurely pace.
Players in the field ask themselves several questions to make sure they make the correct decisions. What pitch should I throw? Is the pitch going to be a fastball or a curveball? Should I make a run for the home plate?
For the spectators, the questions are slightly different. What type of pitch will the pitcher throw? Is he going to throw a fastball or a curveball? Will the baserunner on the 3rd base run for the home plate?
These inquiries will continuously run around the minds of both players and spectators, keeping them at the edge of their proverbial seats. In turn, baseball isn’t only a physical sport but a mind game as well.
Additionally, you can even let your kids start playing the sport. Many children will find themselves enthused upon hearing that loud ‘pop’ when the baseball bat meets the ball. If you want to let your young one start this sport, read our post on the Top 10 Best Baseball Bats for Kids & Youth (Complete Guide).
5. Physical and Mental Exercise
Pitching, hitting, and running require physical prowess during a game of baseball. But this sport is more than a physical exercise but a mental workout as well.
Physical activities, regardless if they’re from baseball or other sports, can make you feel better than before. Working out can make you feel happy through the release of chemicals in your body known as endorphins. These compounds work similarly with sedatives as they diminish the brain’s perception of pain. But endorphins also release stress from the mind, which many would denote as the ‘feel-good’ chemicals.
Since baseball can also make the brain have a much-needed workout, it helps reduce cognitive decline. Much like the muscles in your body, if you don’t exercise your brain, you might lose your mental fortitude over time. So play baseball to exercise both your body and mind to be at peak health.
By now, you should have an idea of the reasons why baseball is so popular. Each game is brimming with rich history, fun, and excitement. Plus, if you want to start playing this sport today, you don’t need to be the next Babe Ruth to start. Be patient, practice frequently, and have fun, and you’ll soon find yourself playing in the big leagues.