Peanuts and Cracker Jack #7: Why We Love Baseball


Peter Philpott

The Colorado Rockies Home Opener series ended 2-2 with the Washington Nationals, but in that series we got to see what the teams have in store. Both are rebuilding. The Rockies are still trying to build up future stars, and the Nationals are recovering from losses such as Juan Soto, Trea Turner, and Max Scherzer. Their weak offenses might contribute to low scoring games, but au contraire. Despite a 1-0 series opener, the pair scored 42 runs throughout the four game series.

Peter Philpott, Assistant News Editor

The MLB began the 2023 season on March 30, bringing back the beloved sport that I and all other baseball fans have been looking forward to since October. And while the sport may have some new rules that restrict the natural flow of the game, baseball is still as good as it ever was.

We love the giants who hit 450-foot home runs, and short kings who hit bloop singles into short center field. We love the pitchers with cannons for arms that fire baseballs at 100 miles per hour, and lefties who lob breaking balls that bend around the strike zone.

Some people believe that baseball is boring because of the gaps between play time. Sports like hockey, basketball, and both types of football are more constant, with frequent collisions and scoring opportunities.

But baseball is special because it allows the game to slow down a bit and lets managers delve into strategy. I love how baseball games can go on forever. There’s no time limit.

With basketball, players are forced to foul the opposition to stop the clock. Hockey teams have to create an empty net in an effort to create a last minute power play. But baseball is infinite and anything is possible.

If you have a basketball game where one team is 20 points behind with 5 minutes left, there’s really not much hope. But fueled by a drive for victory, baseball teams can post ninth inning rallies and come from behind for the win. Nothing is more exciting than that.

Baseball is often overshadowed by other sports like football and basketball, especially in Colorado. Denver has the Stanley Cup Champions Avalanche and the exciting, dominant Nuggets. The Broncos aren’t great, but they’re still popular.

But magic happens on 20th and Blake street. We’ve seen Nolan Arenado hit a walk off home run while also completing a cycle. We’ve seen CJ Cron and Trevor Story launching 500 foot homers to the left field concourse. The Rockies are seldom televised on ESPN, but they play good baseball.

The Rockies nearly lost 100 games in 2022, but by no means were they boring. They had walk off wins and exciting players. It goes to show that even the most losing teams still have their moments, because there are 162 games in a season per team, and 2,430 games in total.

Since 1961 when the 162 game season began, around 150,000 games have been played, plus spring training and the postseason. The football season only has 16 games per team, which means there’s so many fewer games to enjoy. It also means baseball tickets prices are tenfold cheaper.

But really, sometimes you have to leave statistics behind. In tee-ball, I always liked to replicate plays I had seen on the weeknight baseball games. I always dreamed of making a diving play at third base. I had always dreamed of hitting a game winning grand slam.

And that’s a really valuable part of baseball. The pros make majestic plays and create legendary moments, just so little leaguers can dream of that future. Baseball hasn’t been the most popular sport recently, and it’s easy to see that gap in a city like Denver.

A driving effort for more global popularity in baseball is the quadrennial World Baseball Classics. A lot of teams are dominated by major leaguers like the USA and many Latin American countries such as Puerto Rico and Venezuela. But in countries like Japan, where baseball is the favorite sport, we get the delight of watching MLB stars, namely Shohei Ohtani, mixing with the top crop of Japan’s athletes.

The World Baseball Classic ended on a Los Angeles Angels matchup with two of the most talented and dynamic players of this generation, the aforementioned Ohtani and legendary future hall-of-famer Mike Trout. It was a matchup the world was waiting to see, and it ended with a Japanese victory.

History-making moments like these are what baseball fans live for. And the fact that such a moment occurred on a worldwide stage is so lucky.

The baseball season is just beginning and we’ve already seen exciting rookies and incredible matches, and that’s just the start. We have a whole season to look forward to, and you can bet anything that it’ll blow your socks off.