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Drawn To The Diamond By Cultural Ancestry

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What is it about baseball that draws thousands of us out to the diamond? Is it the smell off the grass or the crack of the bat? Could it be the exceptionally expensive, yet amazingly disappointing, food? Perhapse it's the players, always getting better, always striving to make it in the bigs. Or, maybe, it is just the opportunity to distract yourself for a few hours and drink some beers. Whatever the reason is, millions of people spend billions of dollars to sit on their butts and watch some grown men run around the diamond.

Personally, I believe that it is simply tied into our culture. Our fathers went to the games, as did their fathers, and theirs before them. My grandfather pitched, my dad played first base, and I pitched and played short – tradition is why I am drawn to the game. Even back during the Civil War, the game united both sides, as prisoners played against captors. Baseball is America's Game, and it will always be tied to us. Maybe it is America's pastime simply because it already is America's pastime, maybe.

Union soldiers playing some baseball during the Civil War.

But, maybe I am wrong. Maybe it isn't the culture that draws us to the game, but the fact that we are literally a part of history. Every fan who watched Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire go head-to-head will remember those games. The fans who catch home runs have a piece of history. Even the hecklers are adding to the sport, as everything they drunkenly yell affects the game around them. Maybe it is this desire to be imprinted upon history that brings us here, maybe.

Whatever the reason, Americans are still packing the ballparks nationwide. In 2008 alone, 78,624,324 people headed out to MLB games. This is the second best attendance on record; 2007 holds the record at just 1.13% more. While this might seem like a lot, we are currently on track to break 80 million this year. It seems that, even with the recession and the drugged-up players, Americans are still enjoying their baseball.

Adding to the ever growing attendance of the 2009 season, 9,000+ fans packed into Huntington Park to cheer their team on. While the Columbus Clippers have been having a dismal season, and are dead last in the International League West, they have been doing much better after the all-star break. The fans wanted to come and cheer their team to victory, and a hopeful turnaround.

Tonight's game was an extremely close affair, and it went all the way to the very end. Both Fausto Carmona, the Clippers starting pitcher, and Kei Igawa, the starter for the Yankees, played amazing games. The defense behind them was also flawless, with no errors allowed, and very little problems in judgment.

Even with the pitching, one of the teams eventually had to give. The Clippers did so first, as Yurendell de Caster homered in the second. Later, Colin Curtis scored on a missed tag at home. The Yankees looked as though they would fall apart as well, as they broke down in the eighth. After dropping Igawa, Damaso Marte took the mound and allowed two hits, one run, and one almost-run. The Yankees, however, were able to patch their hole, and hold on for the win.

The Great Race
Tonight's Great Race was an interesting event. Instead of racing each other, the hot dogs looked as though they simply wanted to play rugby. Ketchup and Relish started it, as they each tried to hold one-another back. Then Ketchup fell, and Relish sprinted away. He turned around and taunted Mustard, only to be tackled by the yellow-striped dog of fury. All three hot dogs rolled into the ribbon, and one of the extremely hot bat -girls holding it, and ended the race far too close to tell. As there is no instant replay, I was forced to call this a no contest; this means that Relish still has five wins, while both Ketchup and Mustard have only one.

W: Kei Igawa (8-3) 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
L: Fausto Carmona (1-2) 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
H: Damaso Marte (1) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO

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About Robert M. Barga

  • Arguably they are. THere have been promotions at games for ages

  • Clearly the hot dog races are the ties that bind us with our great grandpappies.