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Debate of the Issue: Is Baseball a Sport?

Baseball is a sport (Luke Trevisan):

The National Baseball League or the MLB as we know it today was officially founded in 1876. Baseball is played throughout the world and has many notable appearances and titles, such as the Olympics and the American World Series, which, despite the name, only includes teams from the United States. The game is definitely one of the most well-known sports along with football and basketball. However, baseball doesn’t even come close to the attention that football gets, with 92 million spectators watching the Super Bowl and only 9.8 million on average tuning in for the world series games. If anything, football is THE pastime of America.

While newspapers were claiming baseball as America’s pastime in the 1800s, when the game was lacking any real organization, nowadays it could be much better defined as a sport. With 100 mph fastballs and heavy metal bats being swung within 2 feet of another person, baseball has become much more competitive. A pastime is considered to be a hobby that one does other than work. This may apply to kids and highschoolers, but almost all major league players get their main source of income from baseball. Some of the big shots, like Mike Trout, are earning upwards of 35 million dollars.

Despite being inaccurately deemed a pastime by definition, the Forbes definition states that a sport is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess” — a perfect description of baseball. Not everyone can properly field a ground ball or successfully pitch a curveball; even the professionals mess up now and again. To be good at any sport, one must practice hard and push themselves to achieve their goals. This requires, to put it simply, “blood, sweat and tears” and a pastime is supposedly relaxing. Baseball players must push themselves through physical and even mental strain to succeed in the sport, and I can’t say that I would do that grueling work for my personal enjoyment.

Baseball is not a sport (Lev Tolkoff):

Since the 1840’s baseball has been widely considered America’s national pastime, and for great reason. Baseball is not a vigorous activity like football, basketball, or hockey. You often do not see many baseball players sweating as they come off the field, with the only exception being a pitcher now and again. By no means am I downplaying the difficulties of baseball, but I believe that hitting a 100 MPH fastball is one of the hardest things a human can do, but it is not enough to be dubbed a sport.
Another component is the game’s length. Without intensity, three to four hours for one game is simply too long; in that span, roughly 18 minutes of that time is the actual game.

Baseball also has the longest season of any major professional sport with 162 games, which is eighty more than basketball and hockey, and ten times the amount as football. The reason for this, playing baseball games is proven to not be exhausting, watching players like Jimmy Butler in last year’s NBA finals, limping after four grueling quarters leaving everything on the court, it is a reminder that this is not the case for baseball.

When I sit down to watch a Red Sox game in the summer, there are just three or four times during the game when something interesting happens. During that time however, it is extremely fun to watch. With all this in mind, I do love the game of baseball, but in the end it is a pastime and NOT a sport.

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