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Baseball’s Allure

July 2024
1min read

In Elting E. Morison’s article on baseball (August/September 1986), he goes to considerable trouble and much beating about the facts and statistics but only just barely touches on the most important point about the reason for baseball’s popularity: the game perfectly suits the needs of the American people. That is, it demands a small measure of cooperation among the players, but at the same time, more than any other game, it is likely to make a hero out of almost any player for at least a moment. Americans want heroes, but they want their heroes to be more or less ordinary people. Also, it offers the possibility of the outcome being completely reversed through the action of a grand slam, so the outcome is less often obvious before the end than in any other game.

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