When I look back on my childhood, the first thing I recall is playing and watching baseball. America’s pastime still means the world to me, and I enjoy every minute I can get of it whether playing on the diamond, watching live at a stadium or in front of a television. From the legendary heroes of the past: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, and Jackie Robinson, I learned how to appreciate the game and love it for what it is; a game. I believe that the love for the game has altered and spread from the game today into more of a survival of the fittest among organizations and players.
I look back at the teams and players that my father told me about, the times when getting into the park was under five dollars and popcorn was a nickel. It was a time when the players didn’t play the game to become rich but because that’s what they knew how to do best and they loved doing it. My father would tell me that after the games, players usually walked right across the street from the stadium and had dinner and mingled with friends, family, and fans. He saw this first-hand back when the Brooklyn Dodgers were still in Brooklyn.
I believe society and modernization has led to most of the changes we see in today’s game, but not all. Over the past 10 years, I have seen contracts of baseball players soar to tremendous heights. I have also witnessed players grow to ridiculous sizes. The skill level of the pros, as well as the number of players desiring to be in the pros is ten-fold to what they were 50 years ago. I view all of these points to be the cause of the changes in both mind-set and attitude toward the game today.
I would love to be able to sit down at a ballgame and see the game played for love again. I want to see the legends to sculpt the game into something that deserves to be treasured forever. America’s pastime is a tradition that unites friends, family, and above all, people. I believe baseball should be for the love before the money.
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