Blake Snow

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Mailbag: “Are you a National League or American League baseball fan?”

My kid sister living in Atlanta Braves territory writes:

“Are you an NL fan or AL fan? What are some of your favorite teams? And is baseball your favorite sport?”

Because I can, let me answer your questions in reverse, Sara. While I find college football, World Cup soccer, and Grand Slam Tennis slightly more exciting, I think baseball is the greatest American professional sport. I say that because I like it better than the more popular NFL or NBA, for several reasons:

  1. Winning a baseball game is often just a swing a way, no matter how far behind your team is. In other sports, when you’re down, you’re really down, whereas mounting a comeback is easier in baseball than in other sports. This makes what can sometimes be a boring game to watch particularly exhilarating, especially during important games. That’s what I like most about baseball.
  2. Watching sports outdoors is better than watching sports indoors.
  3. Hitting a baseball thrown by a professional pitcher is the hardest thing to do of any sport. A lot of people say golf is harder, but a golf ball doesn’t move before you hit it, let alone at 100 miles per hour while curving. I respect that.
  4. Baseball is distinctly American. It’s been around for over a hundred years. It’s like apple pie and chocolate chip cookies. When I watch baseball, I feel like I’m watching a piece of American history.
  5. I enjoy all things associated with baseball. Hot dogs. Peanuts. The smell of freshly cut grass. Dirt. An upbeat organ. Patriotism. October. Its a feast of awesomeness.

To answer your second question, I love baseball more than I love anyone team. But I do have my favorites. In the National League, I like watching the Dodgers, Cubs, and Braves (c’mon 2009 wildcard chase!). In the American League, I enjoy watching the Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners, and the A’s. Some of my favorite active players are Ichiro, Matt Holliday, Josh Becket, and Big Papi ’cause he has an awesome smile and is good at hitting home runs. Some of my favorite old-timers include Ted Williams, Kurt Gibson, Bo Jackson, Tom Glavine, Sandy Koufax, Micky Mantle, Joe Dimaggio, Lou Gehrig, and Jackie Robinson.

Regarding which league is better? Although I think all pitches should be required to hit, the hard-hitting American League is more fun to watch, which maybe explains why the American League has won the World Series 61 times to the National League’s 43.

See also: More baseball on Smooth Harold

Lou Gehrig