Why are Americans so crazy about baseball?

There are a few reasons why some American people are so crazy about this beloved game involving a bat, ball, fielders, hitters, runners, umpires, bases, infield and the outfield.


A. The special effects, bells and whistles, and other extracurricular entertainment seen at the stadiums.

Particularly, especially with MLB, it started with the old-time scoreboards without hooplah, then to computerized scoreboards with LED displays and then to the Jumbotrons.

Then there is the music. Started with mainly marching bands, but then, the music was by first organ players who would play during the meat of the game. Later on, organ players were phased out and replaced by pre-recorded music. Fortunately some stadiums still have organ players.

Bill Veeck’s antics may be an example of the inspiration of baseball organizations providing extracurricular entertainment in ballparks. He was the wackiest baseball promoter of all especially in the MLBs. With that, and probably thanks to Veeck, MLB teams had their entertainment mascots, provided between-game entertainment at doubleheaders, and sometimes had contests on the field before games. Even when Bill Veeck died, some of the effects of what the White Sox are doing at Guaranteed Rate Field are still there - the “exploding scoreboard” of course, and the opportunity for children to run the bases on Sunday family day games.

 


Then there are the fireworks - starting off with home-run fireworks that roughly started at Chicago’s Comiskey Park in 1960 (and enhanced by, as mentioned before, Bill Veeck with his so-called “exploding scoreboard”), and this “home run fireworks hooplah” transferred to some other MLB stadiums later on, particularly at Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia) and the Oakland Coliseum (Oakland). Since baseball was seen as something like strong patriotism as well as a national pastime at that point, the use of fireworks blossomed in the 1960s to 1980s. During the 1976 year, because America had the Bicentennial, baseball was regarded as the greatest feat of patriotism in such a national sport at that time, so on that July 4, the Bicentennial sometimes had the great mixture of hot dogs, apple pie, parades, picnics, and baseball games - topped off with fireworks as icing.

And some of the spectators loved the fireworks during ballgames. In addition to home-run fireworks, sometimes fireworks exploded after some records in baseball were broken, and even after some ballgames were over. For instance…

Take 1985, when fireworks exploded over Riverfront Stadium when Pete Rose of the Reds got the basehit that passed Ty Cobb’s mark.
Fireworks blew up over Fulton County Stadium on April 8, 1980 when Hank Aaron of the Atlanta braves blasted his 715th homer, passing Babe Ruth’s home run career mark of 714.
Comiskey Park in the 1970s and 1980s had cheesy old-time firework shows on Friday nights after their home games involving the White Sox. Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium also had their fireworks shows in these decades. Later on, the post-game firework shows spread to more stadiums like Royals Stadium in Kansas City also in these times.


4. You probably know about the Bicentennial all-star game on the week after July 4, 1976 if you experienced it. Veterans Stadium was the site of that all-star game, and after the game, big peony bursts of fireworks exploded over the stadium after the National League defeated the American League in that mid-summer classic for a few minutes.

B. The excitement of the roar of the crowd or the boo of the crowd at the game.

It wouldn’t be baseball without the noise of the crowd. Particularly when this noise happens in some important parts of the game…..

You hear the loudest roar when a home team gets a homer, a big basehit, or any walk-off hit (including walk-off homers). If the home player gets a walk that scores a walk-off run, the roar is also very loud too.
You hear the loudest boo when the home player strikes out, gets ejected from the game, or the home manager gets ejected from the game.
You also hear loud boos on disputed umpire calls.
Sometimes, you will hear cheers on successful foul ball catches from the spectators.


C. The theatrical drama of the game itself -from first pitch all the way to the final out.

As a spectator, you feel the tension at the battery area. That is the area of the baseball diamond in the field, particularly between the pitcher and the catcher. That is, you watch the pitcher wind up and deliver the pitch and the batter swings or misses the ball, or takes the ball. This is where most of the start of the excitement of baseball begins. There! If you are home team fan who is not at turn to bat, you want the home team to get the visiting team 3 outs as fast as one can so they can bat. If you are a visiting team fan, you feel the same way. And vice versa.
You are feeling the dramatic aspect of the game as if it was something out of an arena-rock spectacle in a theater - from the stadium lights - to the scoreboard - to the special effects (like LED flashes, sirens, fireworks, etc), and sounds (for example, you hear a glissando swoop downward on a foul ball, or the organist playing “Charge” to rally the team). You see the defensive players change or shift positions to adjust to each batter to stop a basehit or homer, while you see the batters at the on-deck do their practice power swings, and the main batter at the plate, waiting for one’s best pitch to make a great hit or send that ball out of the park!


And each inning is like an act of 2 scenes each. Each team takes turns playing offense (scene 1) and defense (scene 2), and vice versa. After the inning is over, the act is over and a new act takes place. A game may be 7 innings for 7 acts, or 9 innings in big-league ball for 9 acts, but a strong baseball fanatic would like to stay and watch for the whole 9 acts - which are the 9 innings.
You also experience the intermissions during play that hold up the drama until the umpires break up the intermissions. You see that in mound visits except the visits that allow a pitching change, or a batter stepping out of the box to call time-out, or a relief pitcher doing warm-up tosses after running to the mound from the bullpen. You also see other types of intermissions between innings - especially the throw-arounds by the defensive team before the offensive batter comes to the plate to start play.