In honor of my niece’s wedding today, I thought I’d post some photos from my own wedding from a few years ago. Naturally, we had a baseball theme, complete with nine flower girls and their mini baseball bat “bouquets.” Of course, we also had baseball lapel pins in lieu of boutonnieres, baseball roses, baseball card name placards, and baseball centerpieces.
Of course, Helen, for some reason, chose to go with a non-baseball theme for her wedding. Go figure.
You know its almost baseball season when everything starts to remind you of baseball. Yes, for baseball fans that’s ALL the time, but it intensifies as the calendar moves closer to April. Here are but a few examples – can you add any to my list?
The thermometer says its 34 degrees outside and you think, #34 – Bryce Harper.
On your daily commute you start taking the slightly longer route that leads past the baseball stadium.
You pass Stanton Road and your brain reads the sign as “Giancarlo Stanton Road.”
The snow on the ground reminds you of the year it snowed on Opening Day.
You find it hard to make plans for weekends in April because it depends on who’s playing that day.
You start making room in your bobblehead display case for new additions.
You’re humming “Take me out to the ballgame” as you do the dishes.
The ad for Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Gio cologne makes you think of Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals pitching staff.
Instead of astronauts on NASA TV, you see Orioles fans (oh wait – that one’s actually real!)
It’s that time again for making resolutions. In fact, Sports On Earth has already published their New Year’s resolutions for every Major League Baseball team. As we await more 2014 resolutions for MLB teams, such as Sports Illustrated’s resolutions for American and National League teams, or Jose Canseco’s 2014 personal resolutions, how about coming up with our own baseball resolutions? I’ve listed a few of mine below; feel free to add some of yours in the comments section. Happy New Year!
Baseballrebecca’s 2014 Baseball Resolutions
Attend more Bowie Baysox games (afterall, they are my hometown team!)
I’ve noticed a trend lately – there seems to have been a lot of news stories recently about fans who make it their goal to see every MLB stadium (or at least a lot of them). A few months ago I read an article about a couple being inducted into the Sports Travel and Tours Baseball Stadium Hall of Fame (turns out its for folks who sign up for stadium tours with a specific company). Apparently, a lot of us have this goal.
So, in light of more solemn baseball news we’ve been getting lately, I thought we should have some fun with a rundown of the news about fans who want to see them all:
A while back I mentioned that, yet again, MLB has put together a panel to look at the issue of race and that I planned to look at the available data more closely. The issue is a complicated one, and I am still trying to compile the data.
However, one argument put forth to explain the decline of blacks in baseball is that blacks, in general, are not interested in the game. In fact, a lot of folks have pointed out that there are few black fans in the stands, but has anyone every tried to count them? Not really.
This past April, the Public Religion Research Institute reported findings from its January 2013 Religion & Politics Tracking Survey. The survey revealed that blacks were more likely than whites and Hispanics to agree that football has replaced baseball as the national pastime.
Ok. But that doesn’t tell us who baseball’s fans are. Back in 2006, Business Weekreported that the Chicago White Sox were one of the few teams that attempted to collect data on their fans. The White Sox estimated that only 4.5 percent of those attending games were black (in a city where blacks accounted for nearly 40 percent of the population).
While there is a lot of good information on diversity within Major League Baseball, there is relatively little information on the fans themselves. Observations suggest that there is a lack of diversity among those attending games, which could be related to economics and social class, but few have studied the extent of the problem or the reasons.
The Gallup Organization has been asking people if they are baseball fans for decades. But the information they’ve put online does not discuss race. What their data do show, however, is that the percentage of Americans stating that baseball is their favorite sport has declined over time. In 1960, 34 percent of those polled stated that baseball was their favorite sport. In 2008: 10 percent.
Obviously, though interesting, these data are insufficient to answer the question about the race and ethnicity of baseball fans. Like the issue of why there are fewer blacks playing the game, we need more concrete research on who attends games and why.
Last month, a few folks sounded the alarm about declining MLB attendance this year. One commentator attributed it mostly to rising ticket prices, while another blamed it on a combination of digital services, the slowness of the game, and other things. Others offered a variety of explanations from team performance to the weather.
Of course, the hype has died down a bit, and now that its July we have better attendance data to analyze. In fact, click here to check out a nifty table from Baseball-Reference.com that provides practically up-to-the minute attendance stats. It shows that 10 of the 30 MLB teams are enjoying increases in attendance: Toronto, Washington, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Oakland, Atlanta, Colorado, San Diego, and St. Louis. Seven of these are also in the top 12 for number of runs scored. However, not all first place teams have experienced increases in attendance. Boston, for example, has had 171,275 fewer people in the stands so far this year.
Of course, we’ll have to see how the rest of the season plays out, but the discussion is basically a sociological one: what are the factors, human, social, and environmental, that can impact overall attendance? This has, in fact, been studied by some sociologists and economists. (For example, Baade and Tiehen in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues a while back, or more recent studies on minor league baseball attendance from Google Scholar.) However, there seems to be little consensus on which variables to test and which methods to use.
However, if you’re concerned about this issue, I think the best way to address it is to go out and see a game!
Deux Montréalais qui vont visiter chaque terrain de la ligue majeure de baseball pour promouvoir le retour d'une équipe de baseball à Montréal Two montrealers visiting all the mlb ballparks to promote the return of an mlb franchise in Montreal