Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, February 29, 2016

Return our National Pastime to America

When I was growing up, my favorite sport was baseball. One of my most exciting memories was attending the World Series in 1944 between the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns. Baseball is a wonderful activity for boys and young men. It helps develop mental discipline, patience, and obeying rules. A lower percentage of professional baseball players have post-career troubles compared with football and basketball players, and baseball is a safer sport, too.

The best baseball players today are American-born. All six of the six recipients of the top awards this past season are native born American. But more than a quarter of Major League Baseball players today are foreign-born, with whom our youth are less likely to identify. Some of these players cannot speak English, and they did not rise through the ranks of Little League. These foreign-born players enter on visas and take positions that should have gone to American players. Fewer than 4% of the Baseball Hall of Fame is foreign-born, yet 27% of today’s players are.

This foreign influx into our National Pastime may help explain why our youth is abandoning baseball. Youth who play baseball have declined by more than 40% since 2000, and some communities where baseball was once booming now struggle to fill teams. Television ratings for World Series games are less than half what they were three decades ago.

Baseball owners are doing the same thing that big corporations do – bring in foreign labor to take jobs that should go to Americans. American baseball players are better, as the awards and Hall of Fame prove, but perhaps baseball owners think that foreign players are cheaper and easier to control.

It is time to cut off visas for foreign baseball players, and return our National Pastime to Americans.

Listen to the radio commentary here:


Anonymous said...

"Baseball owners are doing the same thing that big corporations do – bring in foreign labor to take jobs that should go to Americans."
Sounds a lot like something Bernie Sanders would say!!!

Anonymous said...

So, you're premise is based on the fact that Major League Baseball teams are more interested in the bottom line rather than winning? You've got to be kidding!

There are real reasons why there are fewer young men going into Little League, and it has nothing to do with foreign players in the Big Leagues. Baseball requires lots more skill sets than other sports, which means it takes far longer to train and acquire the skills necessary to make it to the top. American youth would rather spend their time with their electronics than putting in the work it requires to become a top notch player.

Anonymous said...

It's a sport - keep the politics out of it. I "want" to see the "BEST" athletes regardless of where they were born or what country they are a citizen of.

Eduardo Vidal said...

We should be happy that other nations adopt our game and invest in playing it, including Little League, which is played around the world. The professional game, like all businesses, is global and should remain so. See the effects of the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Act in starting the Great Depression.

If we were more confident about our national identity and economic opportunities today, then we would not mind sharing our game with other nations.

Amazing that of the 6 finalists in the presidential nomination, 2 are sons of immigrants from a baseball-playing nation, and these 2 are the youngest and most dynamic. One party is fielding 2 superannuated Anglos, one a Bolshevik and the other a Menshevik.

Anonymous said...

So baseball is ruined with such players as Roberto Clemente and Mariano Rivera?

Anthony said...

"All six of the six recipients of the top awards this past season are native born American. But more than a quarter of Major League Baseball players today are foreign-born"

Sounds like foreign born baseball players aren't getting the recognition they deserve!

Anonymous said...

Child of the 80s here. I'll explain a few reasons why less young people (me included) spent less time with baseball. One is the same reason that Americans abandoned cricket. Cricket games take 6 hours (every day for 5 days). Too long and boring. Baseball games are ~3 hours long. And for most of that, only 3 people are doing anything (pitcher, hitter, catcher). So boring. Soccer is likely taking most of the young people's time, as it took mine. More active people at once, more time spent actually playing instead of waiting to play, and shorter games (2 hours average). Baseball had its Golden Age and it will be remembered fondly, but it was designed for the different pace and structure of an older era of America. An American sports inventor needs to design a new game of baseball that has at least 3 different pitchers and catchers in a triangle design. That would make American Baseball Great Again.

sanford said...

To the child of the 80's Most of that was kind of ridiculous. First I don't believe any one or very few played cricket here Yes baseball takes longer to play. Mainly because of tv commercials. They are trying to speed up the pace of the game. I am not sure that the average game was ever 2 hours maybe when there was no radio. Batters probably took fewer swings per game back then Games were low scoring. I am a kid of the 50's If teams drew a million it was a big deal. Today they draw 2 to 3 million Sometimes close to 4 million. Baseball is still a great game and still cheaper than going to basketball, football or hockey

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