7 Reasons Baseball Is The Sport Of The Underdog
Home runs land in the cheap seats. In any kind of entertainment, like, oh, say, opera, you’re going to pay more for better seats — that’s sort of just how money works. But in baseball, being in the cheap seats means you’re in the best position for catching home run balls, the must coveted item of any sports fan, the ticket to a happy and successful life — the better the hit, the cheaper the seat it lands in. Just make sure you give the ball to the adorable little kid sitting next to you — otherwise everyone will know you’re broke and an asshole.
You can’t beat a cheap beer and a hot dog. Like Andy Warhol said, “A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.” Great news if you’re the bum! Nothing goes better with sitting in the bleachers on a hot summer day than a cold beer and a hot dog. Sure, you could spring for a kielbasa and a microbrew, but is that really going to beat a kosher dog and a PBR on a hot day? Doubtful.
Two words: fat athletes. Baseball players are highly trained and highly skilled athletes, capable of stunning feats of strength and precision. And many of them do it with a beer belly. Hey, they may be rich, have models for girlfriends and bask in constant admiration — but at least they don’t make you feel bad about it.
There is no ticking clock. What do we associate with running out the clock? Work. Counting the seconds until Friday. So when it comes to relax, there doesn’t need to be a timer. In almost no sport but baseball is this the case. A game takes as long as it needs to take. Important or very close games take a little longer — as they should.
Being in the crowd is slightly dangerous. A little bit of danger makes everything more fun — a rickety roller coaster, an unsanctioned rope swing. Drugs. Anyone who’s ever been in the path of a rocketing foul ball knows firsthand how quickly baseball can go from sleep inducing to skull denting. But hey, players get hit all the time. The fans should have to take one for the team now and then, shouldn’t they?
Games are not restricted to nights and weekends. Unlike other sports where you have to wait an entire week between games, baseball goes on almost constantly. This is a sport that doesn’t overlook its under-their-luck fans who could really use a diversion around 4:00 on a Tuesday afternoon. Just walk down to the park and pay 20 bucks for a seat in the home run-catching section.
At the bat, it’s one man versus the world. In life, it’s always you versus everyone else. It’s the same in baseball, which is why baseball analogies work in so many situations. The batter is the lone man on offense. Even if there are other guys on his team out there, they’re of no use — he can help them, but they can’t help him. On all sides, he’s surrounded by the enemy, and they want nothing more than to embarrass him. But he’s not going to let that happen. He’s the hero. He’s the man.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”