SAMMARCO: Five Reasons Why Baseball is the Most American (and Conservative) Sport


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

It’s that time of the year again! As the doldrums of Winter give way to the warmth of spring, diamonds around America are getting prepped for the action of another baseball season. Although in recent decades it has waned in popularity, baseball is undoubtedly still America’s pastime. Here are five reasons why baseball is the most American, conservative sport in the USA.

  1. Just like the Founding Fathers, baseball improved upon good ideas of the past.

It is a common understanding that the Founders took the best of Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem to form the philosophical underpinnings of Western Civilization and create the government of the United States. Similarly, baseball was a product of previous innovation. Baseball’s origins can be traced back to 1700’s America, where school children and college students played games more similar to the English games rounders and cricket than baseball. It wasn’t until 1845 that the first set of baseball rules were codified, creating the first iteration of the game.

  1. Baseball has an impartial judiciary, an executive branch, and a Congress.

A uniquely American and inherently conservative structure of government can be found in the three branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. Naturally, baseball does it best to emulate the separation of powers that the balance of American politics is based on.

In each game, umpires act as independent and impartial judges, calling ball or strike, fair or foul, and out or safe. If wrong, just like the appeals system in the US, managers are allowed to “challenge” calls on the field.

The Commissioner of Major League Baseball Robert Manfred is the Commander-In-Chief, who, like the President of the United States is chosen by electors. In this case, the MLB’s owners make up the baseball version of the Electoral College.  

Baseball even has its own Congress: the 400+ members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) vote to elect players to the Hall of Fame. The standards players must meet to be elected to Cooperstown are just as lofty as the three-fourths of the states needed to amend the Constitution. If players aren’t selected by at least 75% of the baseball writers, they don’t make the Hall of Fame.

  1. Baseball is an independent endeavor and simultaneously a team sport.  

Conservatives balance advocacy for personal responsibility in life with the free association of individuals in communities, states, and the country. When batters step into the box they act for the most part as individuals, trying to get on base against the pitcher’s best efforts. However, when playing defense, baseball players change from individuals into a well-regimented team. We all compete in our society from sports to business, politics, and school. When duty calls, though, after a natural or economic disaster, we understand that we really are all on the same team.

  1. It has inspired other games and has spread throughout the world.

The US Constitution has served as the model for scores of countries worldwide, including Japan and India. Baseball has experienced similar periods of worldwide influence and has been the inspiration for other baseball-derived sports. If you grew up in a sporting family, you’ve certainly spent a hot Summer’s night firing curve-balls, sliders, sinkers, knuckle-balls, and gyro-balls at helpless batters during a game of Wiffleball. Baseball came to Israel from American immigrants in the 1970’s, to the Philippines via the US military in 1898, and became a national symbol of Taiwan after the American liberation of the island during WWII.

  1. Baseball is colorblind.

Like it or not, baseball is a pure meritocracy. If you can’t hit a curve-ball, have a sky-high ERA, or can’t field a fly ball, you won’t be playing baseball for much longer. There is no room for intersectionality, victimhood, or affirmative action in the MLB. Case-in-point, the man who broke the color barrier, Jackie Robinson. Robinson wasn’t brought onto the Brooklyn Dodgers because he was a black man born in the racist deep South. Branch Rickey, the owner of the Dodgers saw Robinson’s abilities while he was on the Kansas City Monarchs, a Negro League team, and figured he could play baseball. Of course, Robinson could, paving the way for baseball players of all backgrounds, from Sandy Koufax to Jose Abreu. Since its integration, baseball truly has been colorblind, judging players not by the color of their skin but by the power of their swing.  

There’s a reason why baseball is America’s pastime. It encapsulates all that is the American philosophy: an individual yet team sport, a merit-based society that rejects intersectionality, a cross-national influence, and an attachment to previous traditions. The only thing left to say is “play ball.”

Nick Sammarco studies economics and Spanish at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Nick Sammarco

Suffolk University

Nick Sammarco studies economics and Spanish at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.

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