The early games of the 1920’2-1950’s was the purist form of the game in all aspects, the battle that goes on between the lines from each pitch to every at bat. The symmetry of 3, 3 bases, 3 outs, 3 strikes, 3-outfielders, 9-innings which is divisible by three and is split up in 3 sections of three on a 9 inning scoreboard. How it all fits, I don’t think there is a true explanation, but that in it is art, and that is what makes the game so beautiful.
However, there is no way in hell you can compare the stats and accomplishments of the early game to the one played today! I’m not saying that there should be an asterisk next to the new records, but if you are reading a baseball record book, you have to appreciate how the records where originally set and the way the game was managed, the equipment and the fields. Back in the 1950’s, the Fields were bigger, the bat’s didn’t have a lot of pop, the balls where not as tight, players were smaller and the salary’s where not making them rich! Baseball Players played the game because they had a true passion and a love for the sport.
I’m not saying that great players today do not have a passion for the sport, but you have to understand that over the last 25 years, The stadiums have become smaller, the balls have been wound tighter, the bat has more pop and the players have doubled in size! The fans that notice whether or not a pitcher is tipping off his pitches, or if a batter dipped on a curve ball, the people who pay attention to every stat like it is the bible never even blinked when the fields shrank and the players grew.
What did that do to the sport? It changed the dynamics, probabilities and scores. Then the steroid issue came about, hall of fame players were singled out and baseball was tainted because a lot of the super stars were cheaters in a game that all of us hold so dear to our heart. We were so upset & furious! This beautiful symmetrical game of three’s started to crumble…but games still went on, and families still went to the ballpark…why? Because baseball is America’s Favorite Pastime! It’s as American as hot apple pie, Baseball was around during WWI and WWII and it gave American’s something to believe in during a horrible time, it was around during the depression, during the attacks on September 11 and it is still around today. Only today, is a little different…. it’s a little more balanced again. I think the game needed to have that hit from the steroid issue to regain its symmetry and balance within American culture.
Over the last 5 years there hasn’t been one team that has over dominated every year in the World Series…Since the fall of the New York Yankee Dynasty after the Red Sox overcame their curse and beat them repeatedly, there has been a different team every year: Phillies, Angels, White Sox, Giants…and it’s shown it’s true side that it truly is anybody’s game until the last out in the last inning.
This game, The game of baseball that we American’s love so much is part of our heritage, some of us play, some of us watch, some of us listen…but we all appreciate the wonderful game of baseball!