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Is Baseball Still the American National Pastime

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Is Baseball Still the American National Pastime?
Although baseball has been and may still be considered America’s national pastime, it has not happened without incident. The game of baseball was initially racially segregated, only completing the final desegregation in 1959, twelve years after the signing of Jackie Robinson. It withstood the devastating gambling scandals of the 1920’s Chicago White Sox and the 1980’s Pete Rose scandal. The institution has survived and may have even been made stronger with the steroid and drug scandal of the 1990’s and recent years. Baseball has had difficulties in maintaining a loyal following since the 1994 strike, having to rebuild the fans confidence and or switching the fan base from Anglo to a more diverse ethnicity. Writer George Plimpton, summarized baseball with this passage in Ken Burns Ninth Inning, “It’s always been our great game. Pastime is a funny word for it is not a pastime it has to do with the spirit of the people.”
From inception, the great American game of baseball was deemed America’s national pastime. It basically is the same game as earlier versions in the eighteen century and Americans can still claim it as their own, although it is going global with major league teams doing business and recruiting in the Dominican Republic, Japan, Venezuela, South Africa and other locations. Baseball also has to compete with fans of golf, football, basketball, soccer and NASCAR for the attention of fans.
Baseball may not be a sport that everyone follows today; however one might feel differently if one started following baseball from 1947 to about 1965. Baseball fans have something they can rely on, something they can pass on to young family members, something they can share with each other -- tradition. In Ken Burns’ film, Ralph Gonzalez, from George Washington High School a young Dominican Republic says he read…...

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