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Baseball returning to glory

By: Joshua Ansley Sports Corner
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I’ve often wondered why football seems to overpower baseball year after year in high school sports. Why is it that the whole town turns out to the football game and only parents and grandparents to baseball games? What social draw does football contain that baseball lacks? It can’t be a matter of action. A typical football down lasts about four seconds. Where did baseball go wrong, and can it fix it? I think the answer lies in three main areas at the highest level and trickles down. • After 1968 was dubbed, “The year of the pitcher,” Major League Baseball decided to lower the mound about five inches in 1969 to give pitchers less of an advantage. The hope was this would add more hitting, and hence, more scoring to draw crowds. This may have worked for the ignorant fans that always want more scoring regardless of what sport it is. Baseball was designed, however to be a pitcher’s game. • From the late 1980’s until just a few years ago, baseball went through its steroid era, so to speak, brought on no doubt by the desire to showcase more scoring. This hurt the game perhaps the deepest out the three and probably will continue to for generations. • The 1994-95 lockout hurt baseball more than any lockout of another sport in history. It was already losing out to football and basketball, and the lockout turned even more fans away. I think this year has been the redeeming year for baseball. It is competing with 1968 as the year of the pitcher, in part because the steroid use is down, and in part because of just great pitching. It has taken almost 15 years to recover from the lockout and steroids and everything else, but I think baseball, at its highest level, is returning to its former glory. Will its success trickle down? That remains to be seen.