America's Favorite Pastime Has passed | Teen Ink

America's Favorite Pastime Has passed

April 23, 2018
By RyanProulx BRONZE, Gales Ferry, Connecticut
RyanProulx BRONZE, Gales Ferry, Connecticut
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Broken garage window pane: $ 35.17.
Broken den window: $162.82.
Striking out 11 batters in 4 innings: priceless!

Like many teens, I fall asleep listening to the game. I wake up and check the score.  A lot of us teen athletes started at a young age.  When I was a toddler, baseball was already a part of my life. My dad took me to Red Sox games, taught me how to throw and hit, and signed me up for tee ball. Since then, my love for the game has grown exponentially and now almost surpasses his. 

Us teens have always been passionate about sports, whether it's football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, or in my case baseball. We love action, excitement, and thrill, and baseball is all of that and more for me.

The crack of the bat and the smack of the ball when it hits the glove are the sweetest sounds I know.  I love the smell of freshly cut grass on the diamond field in the spring, and the feel of the dirt under my cleats. Regardless of where I am playing on the field, I feel a sense of tranquility and joy.  According to Youth Sports Statistics in 2017, 66% of teen boys and 52% of teen girls play organized sports. 

In organized sports though, failure is guaranteed.  In my first year of baseball, I had zero hits, and I did not make contact with the baseball once.  I reacted the same way a lot of kids and teen do: I wanted to quit!   However, I knew I couldn't quit the game I loved so much.  The next year I persevered and had an all-star season. In baseball, as in life, you will not succeed without failure.

As the classic movie quote in “Field of Dreams” goes, “If you build it they will come.” However, these days kids are not coming to play in America's ball fields. Instead, teens are drawn to other more action-packed sports and in a modern age of instant gratification, our generation has lost patience for the game of baseball.

America’s favorite pastime and the baseball greats of the past have mostly been forgotten. ESPN’s annual survey, which polls us teens on our 30 favorite sports figures, found that there were no baseball players on the list. Even now the last generation of baseball greats, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, and Mariano Rivera, have retired, leaving baseball without any household names that could compete with basketball’s Lebron James or Football’s Tom Brady.

Above all, baseball isn't about the individual. Despite the personal aspects of baseball, when I succeed, it wasn't for me, it was for the team.

When I walk out to the mound to face opposing batters, I am individual battling opposing hitters.  However, I know my defense has my back in the field. I know whether I succeed or fail my team will be there for me.

Baseball bonds me and my teammates because if one person fails the whole team can pick that person up, but if one individual succeeds they pick the whole team up.  And I guess that’s why us teens love sports.  The camaraderie.  Whatever the sport, that feeling truly unites players and fans.

And oh yeah, Go Sox!

The author's comments:

I was inspired to write about baseball because what had once been deemed America's favorite pastime is quickly becoming a dying sport.  Also, organized sports is important for teens!

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