Hearing others say that baseball isn’t a sport really grates on my nerves for a baseball player like me. I keep hearing, “is baseball even a sport” or “basketball/soccer/football is a better sport than baseball.” All I can say is that “oh, how wrong you are.”
Some of you who are reading will comment that it does even matter if baseball is a sport, and my reply will be yes, it does matter. The simple fact is that baseball is a sport beloved by fans in the millions.
Others keep saying that baseball isn’t a sport because it doesn’t fit with their style or definition properly. While it is true, not everyone will like what others like, we shouldn’t dismiss them.
As much as it angers me when someone says that baseball isn’t a sport, the best way to change their opinion is not by getting angry at them. So instead, I will show you both sides of the debate and change your misconception since baseball is definitely a sport no matter what anyone else says.
But before we do anything, we need to know what the proper definition of sport really is. According to the dictionary, sport is:
An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against others for entertainment.
Table of Contents
Is Baseball a Sport: The Negative Remarks
Before I explain my side of things regarding is baseball a sport, I will first inform you why some say it isn’t.
Anyone that sticks to the official meaning of sports says that baseball doesn’t match it. One of the biggest factors that convince other people of baseball not being a sport is the athletes.
According to some baseball definitions, those who play baseball even professionally aren’t really athletes. To play baseball, you don’t really need to be athletic. In fact, anyone of any age can play baseball.
Also, a study was done by the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where a large selection of experts was consulted. In terms of athleticism, baseball is tied with pro golf.
Some of the study’s parameters were cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, balance, power, flexibility, agility, and physical skills. In my personal opinion, I believe baseball players do have high scores in these parameters; the ones consulted for the study say they don’t. So take it how you will.
Is Baseball a Sport: The Positive Viewpoint
Now that we are done listening to those that think of themselves so highly by saying baseball isn’t a sport, we can talk about the truth. The truth is that baseball is a sport, no matter what anyone else says.
Sadly I can yell this from the top of any building. However, those with negative ideas won’t budge without some hard to deny facts. Thus, I set about collecting facts and statements that agree that baseball is a sport for the naysayers.
Through my research, I found some points that baseball is a sport and why it’s the best sport out there.
First of all, we should be talking about the competitiveness of the sport in general. During the mid to late 1800s, baseball was seen as more of a pastime. In fact, it was well known at some points in time as THE American Pastime. But nowadays, with 100+mph sliders and metal bats swinging two feet from one another, it is any but a pastime.
Second of all, the money involved with the game. Each of the so-called Major League Baseball(MLB) teams spent around 50+ million dollars in operating income in 2019. Also, in 2019, the revenue for my favorite team, the New York Yankee, was about 683 million. Still, in 2020, that dropped to a measly(for them) 108 million.
With such high amounts of money changing hands, can you really say it’s just a pastime or hobby?
More on Why Baseball is a Sport
As I mentioned above, the formal definition of sports is an activity that requires much physical exertion and skillful plays. And in baseball, I see that plenty, yet others say that it isn’t sport since the players aren’t athletic.
However, I believe players’ looks and physical stature will differ with different sports. For example, in sports like boxing and football, the players will need more muscle in their upper body for strength. While in something like soccer and basketball, the body tone needs to leaner to allow for greater speed and stamina.
As a result of the sport being more stationary, the body shape of baseball players doesn’t necessarily match what others think of when looking at an athlete. But baseball still requires much skill and physical prowess. Therefore baseball should be counted as a sport.
Finally, I have another point to make that might not completely align with why baseball is a sport, but I believe it is a good point. I am talking about baseball as a sport that matches every season.
By that point, what I am talking about is that we play baseball only during the summer seasons meaning no snow or fighting against shivering temperature. Let us be honest since none of us really like to play outside while it is raining bullets or is below freezing.
But with baseball, that doesn’t need to be one of your concerns since we play and enjoy the game only when it is sunny without a single dark cloud in the sky. In fact, baseball season usually has such good weather that you can go to the game with shorts on!
Testimonials and Personal Take on Is Baseball a Sport:
To take my point across on the topic, I have gathered a list of quotes and answers from a number of sources. Hopefully, all of them will make it obvious to you that baseball is a sport.
Firstly we have Leo Durocher, an American professional baseball player, manager, and coach.
Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.
Here is a simple explanation for those who aren’t sure what this quote might mean. Many worldwide might have watched some baseball highlights, but that isn’t impressive. However, those into baseball will understand that every out and homerun is truly impressive.
My second source is Zack Hample, an American baseball collector or ballhawk.
The next time someone whines that baseball doesn’t have enough action, you can do two things: first, explain the planning, strategizing, calculating, and deception that place before every pitch. Then quote Hall-of-Fame announcer Red Barber: “Baseball is dull only to dull minds.
This quote is the best answer to give to anyone saying that baseball isn’t a sport.
Finally, we have a quote from Chad Harbach, an American writer.
Baseball was different. Schwartz thought of it as Homeric – not a scrum but a series of isolated contests. Batter versus pitcher, fielder versus ball. You couldn’t storm around, snorting and slapping people, the way Schwartz did while playing football.You stood and waited and tried to still your mind. When your moment came, you had to be readyChad Harbach
These quotes summarise the entire aspect of baseball. It tells me that baseball is a sport and something more. Furthermore, this quote tells me that baseball is something you need to train for and have the patience to win and be victorious.
As someone that has played and watched baseball, I can tell you that it is a sport. It is one because it both matches the definition and makes you feel something. Also, there are some records that will never be broken, unlike other sports.
To me, a sport really isn’t a sport unless it provides you with some kind of an emotional release, either when you are playing or watching.
Is Football a Better Sport than Baseball?
For those Redneck American’s there are clear distinctions between baseball and football. While some of them might say baseball isn’t a sport, I don’t think any of them will say football isn’t a sport.
With its wide appreciated history and how well it took off, American football is genuinely in a class of its own. There isn’t much to say about why football is a sport, but I will still say something to get the point across.
First of all, football isn’t just about two muscle-bound teams of men tackling one another. In fact, there is much strategy involved that will completely blow your mind if you dig deep enough. Second, many thought of themselves as capable of leading a team to the NFL as coaches. Well, I hate to be rude to them, but there are less than 35 people in the world with the experience and skill to be NFL-level coaches.
Reasons for Why Football is a Sport
The main reason for this is because the amount of skill and foresight needed to take a team to the NFL is astronomically high. These coaches have to play chess with these teams for every play, meaning they have to look dozens of steps at a time to make awe-inspiring plays.
As a true New York Yankees fan, I can safely say that the Boston Red Sox’s are trash. But the rivalry between the two is something I always look forward to. The same sentiment is true in football as well. The rivalry is easy to spot in teams like the Packers and Bears or Cowboys and Redskins. While other sports have a long rivalry history, football has a rivalry that matches them with their intensities.
Since I have a favorite team(New York Yankees) in baseball, I mostly catch their games either on the field or on the TV, and the rest I catch up on through news or highlights. We see baseball games throughout the summer, but watching all 162 of them is simply not possible.
But with only 16 games for football, watching each match is a breeze and highly enjoyable. Also, these games happen on Sundays, so I can chill and have a beer while watching them.
As I have said before, other sports like baseball have a long and interesting history. But few are like football, where its influence is strong enough to enter into a yearly tradition. If you don’t understand, I am talking about Thanksgiving football.
Sports like basketball might be enjoyed more, but when was the last time the whole family played it during a national and historical holiday like Thanksgiving.
So you see, the answer to Is Football a Sport is a resounding yes.
Is Soccer a Better Sport than Baseball?
Anyone living in America for a significant time must have gone to a baseball game at least once. Out of all of them, you would hardly find a person who hasn’t enjoyed it. However, all the other countries have one game of liking in common – soccer.
Here is a wild fact for all readers to put soccer’s popularity in context. Currently, the number of soccer fans worldwide is estimated to be around 4 billion. That’s right! I said BILLION!
So for anyone saying, “is soccer a sport” the answer to that would be a big yes. However, I will provide further proof for those amongst my readers with an analytical mind. To give you the hard facts, I will compare soccer with the dictionary definition of sports. Keep in mind that this analogy is solely from my perspective. As in this is how I see soccer matching sports definition.
Reasons for Why Soccer is a Sport
The first part of sport’s definition involves physical exertion and skill. By this portion, we understand that athletes in sports need to be skilled and capable of hard work. If we were to examine soccer athletes using this definition, then you would find it matching each other perfectly.
The simple reason for this is that the players go through rigorous training and build up a lot of stamina for each game. Moreover, since a soccer match goes for a fixed period of time, the competing teams are always on the move constantly to increase their scores.
The second part of the definition is team competes against another or others. This part of the definition matches what I mentioned above. The teams of 11 players are always competing against each other. This high level of rivalry is what makes a sport truly a sport.
As the saying goes, competition breeds excellence.
The final part of the definition of sport is for entertainment. Any kind of activity that is used for entertainment that is watched by millions can be well known. This is especially true for something like sports.
Therefore soccer which is watched by many people is a sport.
However, the level of intensity and excitement of both soccer and baseball are too similar, so I don’t think I can tell whether one is better than the other.
Regardless of where they stay, each person in the world has their own favorite sport. For someone like me who has played multiple sports in school knows what I love, and that is baseball.
But in this article, we are talking about is baseball a sport and it is a sport. Baseball is a sport both because it matches the definition of sport and people who love watching and participating in it.