Long Live Baseball

Atlanta Braves Baseball

I did deep dive on just how bad long baseball games had gotten by the 2021 season. As much as I loved baseball, the sheer length of games had gotten to be too much. Between the NFL’s TV ratings and the NBA’s social media domination – way too many people were all in on the idea that baseball is irrelevant and dying.

I was tuning out and my kids were certainly not interested.

BUT!

Even though baseball has a reputation for tradition, it has always been willing to change the rules to make the sport better – all the way back to the 1850s.

And in 2023, the MLB rolled several rule changes that have made the game amazing again. They even reworked their apps, websites, and social media presence.

It’s amazing. The actual games move along; the players are actually playing baseball instead of home run derby; there is actual competition among the teams. It’s absolutely worth paying attention again.

Then again, I also came across some charts & video that show that baseball’s dominance was never really in question for Americans.

Long Live Baseball 1
Source – image from the New York Times; data from the MLB and ESPN

That long slide downwards in baseball attendance from 2008 to 2019 matches the “great slow down” that I documented here. I don’t know what caused it, but baseball definitely got slower and more boring in the 2010s.

But here’s the thing.

The NFL and NBA are not even close to even Minor League Baseball, much less Major League Baseball in attendance.

Now – attendance is a tricky way to measure influence…but so is TV ratings, revenue, and social media presence. But I loved this video on exactly why baseball gets so many people to spend their time (even if not as much money as NFL) to experience their sport.

Long live baseball :) Try going to a game or check out the Free Game of the Day on the MLB app.

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