Baseball – America’s Pastime!

Written by on April 9, 2019

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 8, 2019, #738 Up Next… Baseball – America’s Pastime!

After further review… Since the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) season has begun as well as the colleges and high schools being midway in their seasons, let’s review “America’s Pastime.” Or is baseball considered in today’s sports world “America’s Past time?” Has this sport taken an upper-deck seat to football, basketball, soccer and other sports? Has the baseball season-ticket holder become disenfranchised with today’s MLB?


Let me say, first and foremost, baseball was my first love. As a youth in southern California, without any MLB teams available I would fall asleep each night listening to Marty Glickman, Mel Allen, and Red Barber radio broadcast the Yankees and Dodgers games. I was a fan of the Yankees with Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazerri, Red Ruffing and the rest. In fact, I wanted to pitch, like Ruffing, for the Yankees.


My dad went from a Loyola University baseball player to a major league contract with the Oakland Oaks, a major league farm T*E*A*M. He always told me to plan to be a pitcher since that’s where the best money was. (Note: dad never met Alex Rodriguez, Bryce Harper or Mike Trout.) As often as we could I would stand at one end of our front yard in San Gabriel and pitch to him across our front lawn. He would catch my best fastball bare-handed! I couldn’t break a pane-of-glass at that distance! However, that didn’t discourage me from dreaming of standing on the mound at (the original) Yankee stadium and being their starting pitcher.


When I became an NFL official and was assigned a New York Giants football game in that stadium, I walked in prior to the game, set down my officiating gear and walked out the tunnel directly to where the pitcher’s mound was and waited for PA announcer Bob Sheppard to announce me as the Yankees starting pitcher! Silence! I went in and got dressed.


Back to the MLB today. They have made some changes to speed-up the game, e.g., fewer coaches’ mound-visits, a clock on timing the pitcher (pending) and others. Now if they could just limit – or eliminate – batters constantly re-velcroing their batting gloves, which Gehrig, DiMaggio, and others never wore. Just apply some good ‘ol dirt and step into the batter’s box! Every major league sport is working hard to attract fans. Baseball is trying also. Or is it?


Will you offer some suggestions for improving MLB today?

To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.


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