In a continuation of the Dadtography Guy’s Trip series, our journey has us in Atlanta, Georgia for an Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball game. We’re still making our way north from Florida to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 race. We had a few scheduled stops along the way and one of which was to catch a game at Turner Field in Atlanta.
Reflections on my Relationship with Baseball
I’ve been meaning to do a commentary, of sorts, on baseball and the MLB for a while. I’m still a huge fan of baseball, having actually been introduced to the sport when I was younger in two forms: little league and baseball cards. Growing up in Iowa, I played baseball from the age of around 8 years old until my early teens. The last team I played on was sponsored by the local police department and we went on to win the city championship that year.
Related: For the Love of Baseball Video Short
I was never a great player, but I always held a love for the game. To this day, I still have tens of thousands (probably somewhere around 50-60 thousand) baseball cards, but my most prized baseball possession is still my autographed baseball, signed by every member of the Kansas City Royals in their 1990 season, including Bo Jackson and George Brett.
A combination of experiences with baseball, possessions and collectibles related to baseball and the history that goes along with the sport will mean that it always holds a special place for me. But I see these factors fading with our youth. Sure, kids still play baseball and collect cards, but I’m not sure baseball holds the meaning for us as a nation that it once did.
Major League Baseball: Still America’s Pastime?
My love for baseball is one that is deep-rooted and strong. But it’s also been challenged over the years as well. Controversies around the use of performance enhancing drugs, or “PED’s” have come up fairly frequently over the past few years. There have also been high-profile MLB personalities making what I would call questionable choices for those that are deemed role models by society.
There will always be those that live up to our expectations and those that fall short. But baseball, like any other sport, is made up of people and we are not perfect. Is the sport as pure as it was in the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s? Probably not. Gone are the days, for most, of playing the game for the love of the game at the professional level. Multi 7-figure salaries are becoming more common, but there are still some of us out there that cling to our memories of baseball, little league, trading baseball cards and the love and nostalgia we have for the game.
For me, the love of baseball is still there. It’s my job, as a dad, to help my sons explore what will play those roles and fill those memories for them. For some, it will be baseball, but for others, that may be changing.