I was listening to a podcast the other day in which the host is not a huge baseball fan.  A listener wrote in an email with his top ten reasons to watch baseball, and a couple of them were read.  It got me thinking about doing a similar post.  So… here we go!

Top 10 Reasons to Love Baseball

10. Ticket Prices.  Maybe if you are swimming in money, this isn’t really an issue, but for the average person, the price of a ticket is important.  According to this document, the MLB league average for a ticket is $28.81.  That’s right, for just under $30, you can probably to out to the nearest MLB ballpark and catch a game.  That’s awesome.  In baseball, every single team is under an average of $55/ticket.  The highest average ticket cost is in Boston at $53.38/ticket.  If you are watching your wallet, then you may want to watch a baseball game.

9. No Guaranteed World Series Champ.  Every year, a team that you are rooting for has a chance to win it all.  Don’t believe me.  In the post-strike era, 1995 and beyond, 18 different teams have been in the World Series.  The only repeat winners: Yankees – 5, Red Sox – 2, Marlins – 2.  Yes, the teams with the highest payroll have a better chance, but they are not guaranteed.  In fact, if you want to look at it another way, every division has had a World Series champ since the 1994 strike.

8. Richest History of All Major Sports.  Feeling nostalgic?  Check out a baseball game.  Sure the equipment is a little different, but the game itself is the same game played by Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson (the five original Hall of Fame members).  In what other sport do players get compared to somebody that played in the 1920’s?  If you are remotely interested in history, you should watch baseball.

7. Labor Peace.  I know you may be thinking, “What are you talking about?!?  Don’t you remember 1994???”  Well, yes, I do… vaguely… remember 1994.  But let me throw a few more years at you: 2004/5, the NHL loses an entire season due to a lockout; 2011 – the NFL lockout which included daily reminders that absolutely no progress had been made for 100+ days; 2011 – the NBA is currently locked out, and major players are talking about going overseas for the season.  So, yeah, relatively speaking, baseball has had labor peace for quite some time.  Still angry about the strike?  Get over it.  The 1994 strike is entering it’s senior year of high school this fall.

6. It’s an International Game.  Sounds crazy, right?  But did you know that roughly 16 nations are currently represented in Major League Baseball?  In the history of the game, roughly 45 nations have been represented in Major League Baseball either.  I didn’t know that either, not until I read this article.  That’s pretty amazing.

5. Asdrubal Cabrera. Okay, I’m not an Indians fan, but watching this guy play shortstop is incredible.  It’s not just a one-time play either.  He does it over and over again.  Take a couple minutes to watch these highlights.  Incredible.

4. Not That Long. One complaint I often hear is that baseball games take forever to finish.  Not true.  The average MLB matchup is under three hours.  (Of course, the average Yankees-Red Sox game is about three and a half – what’s up with those guys?)  If you check your schedule for NFL games, they will often be scheduled for three hours as well.  Don’t be fooled by the game clock – NFL games do not last 60 minutes.  Throw in the breaks between time of possession, quarters, half time, timeouts, and the average NFL game is going to last just as long as the average baseball game.  Oh, and by the way, you get 9 innings for your three hour investment, not just 4 quarters.  More than double the action.  That’s math, people.

3.  Cleaning Up the Game.  Okay, let’s admit it, baseball dropped the ball when it came to testing for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), but it has since done a fairly good job of regulating.  Even it’s big stars are not immune to testing and serving suspensions – anybody remember what happened to Manny?

2. Fan Interaction.  If you go to a baseball game, there’s always a chance that you might catch a foul ball or a home run ball.  In spite of recent events in Arlington, some players still toss balls to fans at the end of an inning.  You can’t get that close to the action in any other game, except perhaps basketball.  You can get there early for batting practice, and perhaps have a shot at getting an autograph from one of the players.  I don’t see that happening in other sports.

1. Average Guys. Baseball players are not necessarily physical specimens.  In many cases, they are average people who have some particular skills.  There are not a lot of people that can relate to the height of a basketball player, or the sheer size of a football players, but many of the guys out on the baseball diamond are a lot like you and me.  You don’t have to be a physical “freak” in order to play the game and play it well.  Best example that I can think of: David Eckstein, 5’6″, 170 lbs, World Series MVP.

So, there you have it.  Ten reasons to love America’s game.  What are some other reasons that you like baseball?