Baseball is truly our National Pastime

Michael - Staten Island, New York
Entered on September 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in baseball as America’s national pastime…..It has endured a significant portion of our nation’s history….It has proven to be a successful unifying device for Americans…I believe in America’s pastime.

I believe baseball is America’s true pastime because it has been a stable factor in our society for the better part of two centuries. If you sit down and think about it, how many elements of American life besides baseball have withstood this time period that has encompassed a handful of major wars, the Great Depression, and the changing times of the Twenties, Sixties, and Seventies? My belief in our nation’s pastime is expressed by one of my favorite fictional characters, Terrence Mann. He is played by James Earl Jones in the movie Field of Dreams. While discussing the sport, Mann states that “the one constant through all the years has been baseball.” He says that “while America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers, erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again, but baseball has marked the time.”

As a New Yorker, a moment in my life I’ll never forget are the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001….in the 7th grade at the time, I vividly remember my science teacher explaining to the class what had taken place at the World Trade Center…and the events of the following days and weeks are also fresh in my mind….now in addition to the extreme patriotism expressed by our country in those weeks, I believe that baseball played a vital role in unifying us into a truly United States of America…this had a lot to do with the fact that the World Series was played at Yankee Stadium, which is a 35 minute subway ride from Ground Zero….and I remember as a 12-year old boy I recognized the unifying effect that the games of that series had not only on New Yorkers but on Americans as a whole…I believe the impact of baseball immediately following 9/11 confirmed its position as our nation’s pastime.

I believe baseball’s status as our national pastime is strengthened even further through its impact on family relationships…When you consider the activities that can form a close relationship between a father and young son, how many come to mind before you think baseball? Probably not many…It’s hard to say exactly what it is, but there’s just something about throwing a baseball back and forth in a backyard or park that forms a close bond between two people that can last a lifetime.

Even though, in recent years, baseball appears to have become less popular than some other American pro sports, I still view baseball’s longevity and its ability to unite members of our society as reasons why it truly remains our national pastime….I believe in baseball.