Monday, April 7, 2008

The Future of Baseball

What's going on in this space? See the introductory remarks at:

Dear Abner,
From your lofty perch, as you look far into the future, what do see as the most significant baseball question to be answered in the 21st-century?
Roy Hobbs

Dear Roy,
Where’s the joy? That’s the question baseball must wrestle with as it risks mutating into just another entertainment vehicle for media platforms current and not yet invented. Baseball can draw more fans and make more money, go worldwide, and even become the national pastime of some locales long devoted to what Americans call soccer. But the danger is that as the game tilts further toward becoming an event FOR media, whose purpose is to entertain distant observers, its essence may be lost (not irretrievably, mind you, I’m only referencing the professional game here).

What is that essence? Community, and family, and an appreciation of the past. It’s the national pastime not because it’s the most popular sport but because it’s the one that connects. Lawrence Ritter liked to say that the best part of baseball today is its yesterdays, and he will always be right about that.

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