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Why Baseball Matters: A Fan’s View
Baseball ratings are down for the 2011 World Series, but don't let anyone tell you that baseball no longer matters. Baseball matters—and always will—to generations of fans.
It make no difference if you root for the New York Yankees, who have won 27 World Championships, or the Chicago Cubs, who haven't won one since 1908. Baseball forever will matter to fans because they care about the sport and its tradition. Some just care more than others right now.
Baseball matters more than ever to fans of the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. In fact, baseball has mattered in St. Louis since 1882. The Cards have won more than 10,000 games, 10 World Championships and 22 Pennants over the years. And it matters the same to fans of the Rangers, who—born in 1961 as the Washington Senators—are seeking their first championship in franchise history.
Baseball still matters, even if your team was eliminated this year in the American League Championship Series or Division round. Fans of the Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks may not be watching the World Series, but they sure were watching when their teams were in it to win it. And they'll be watching next season, too.
Baseball matters to fans of the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves, even though they both collapsed down the stretch. Trust me, I know what it feel like to throw away a postseason appearance. I'm a New York Mets fans. But, like me, you'll be back for more next year, hoping for the best. That's the beauty of baseball. There's always a chance at redemption. The Red Sox should know. They blew the ALCS in 2003, only to win the World Series the next year for the first time in 86 years.
Baseball matters to fans of the teams that didn't come close in 2011. It means something to Cubs fans, the most loyal in the business, who forever hope next year will be their year. It matters to perennial losers like the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians, because once upon a time, those teams were the teams to beat.
It may seem like baseball no longer means anything to some fans, but they're just waiting for their moment. They're waiting for that franchise-changing season, player or single play—a ball over the fence to win a World Series game—like when Jack Buck didn't believe what he just saw—or a roller behind the bag that gets by Bill Buckner. Those moments are what make baseball special, regardless of your allegiance.
Baseball has provided us with magical numbers and memorable teams. From 61 home runs to the Big Red Machine, you can appreciate the game no matter which team you call yours. So enjoy what's left of the World Series, even if your team is done. Next year is a fresh start for everyone. And that's what matters.
Give this article a "like" or a "tweet," if baseball matters to you.
More MLB content from this Yahoo! contributor:
Ronald Blum, "World Series Game 3 draws 2nd-lowest rating," Yahoo! Sports.
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