The romance of baseball is alive and well. It seeps into the psyche of fans. It seems to grow from exposure to the game.
What is it that makes baseball unique among all sports. To begin, the arrangement of the playing field is unusual. It is not set up with a goal on one end as most other sports are. Baseball fields in both the major and minor leagues can vary in size and shape which means that the distance from home plate to the center field fence can vary as much as 35 feet from one park to another.
Baseball is a game that depends on moments rather than constant action. From the moment the ball leaves the pitcher for home plate, anything can happen. A single swing can send the ball over the fence and bring the crowd to its feet
There are those who are critical of baseball, saying that it lacks hard play and athleticism. Those who have played the game or watched closely, can attest to to the power it takes to knock the ball over a fence 410 feet away.
Some also complain that there is little action in the game. This may seem correct at first glance until you analyze the constant silent dialogue between catchers and pitchers and the shifting of positions of fielders depending on the batter. In actuality, there is always something happening during a baseball game.
A careful analysis of the skill of a pitcher shows that he is part physicist, part magician and and part gambler.
Good batting is the same thing. It involves concentrated focus, great power and careful balance. There is a specific way that a batter is supposed to swing at a pitch that involves super coordination.
It would often seem that baseball statistics almost overtake the game itself. In spite of the preoccupation with things like lifetime batting averages, you do not need to be concerned with statistics to genuinely appreciate the game of baseball.
The greater your attention to the game, the more details you will observe. A student of the game will find that as he digs deeper, he will be rewarded with more and more intriguing information.
Baseball offers something beyond the game itself. That is because the game is deeply historical. It is a tradition and fans become a part of that tradition. The game has been played the same way since the Industrial Revolution. It has served as a past time and distraction through difficult periods in American history.
In more recent years, it has moved beyond the borders of America. It is played everywhere and still occupies the dreams of kids hoping to hit the ball out of the park one day.