Politics

The conservative love affair with baseball

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

“I just love the game and I often go alone simply so I can just study it. I know it’s slow and for most younger people they can’t tell what the attraction is. It’s a very elegant game. I don’t even think it is the greatest of games. I love to see anything done beautifully whether it is ballet, music or baseball or walking the four inch balance beam in gymnastics,” he said. “For me, when I go to a game, usually with a losing team, I go to see a few great players. I’m happy if I’ve seen Zimmerman charge. If I’ve seen Zimmerman charge two ground balls, pick it up barehanded, after circling around and throwing as he falls to his right, underhand or even sidearm – that’s worth the price of admission.”

The National Review’s Daniel Foster told TheDC that the relaxed and constant nature of the game is what appeals to him.

“I think the beauty of baseball is that there is no clock so the game takes exactly as long as it needs to. I think there is something inherently conservative about that,” he said. “Also people tend to knock baseball for being boring and slow paced. But I love the 162 game season. It is a conscious companion through the spring and summer and fall. It’s reliable, dependable, faithful and I think there is something very warming to the cockles of the cold conservative heart about that fact.”

Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, said that while baseball may be the favorite sport of the conservative intelligentsia, football is more likely the favorite sport of the conservative masses.

“George Will puts a conservative intellectual imprint on the sport, but with a lot of conservatives I know football predominates,” he said. “I would expect among most conservatives in the country football might be more popular because it is the most popular sport in the country. Among the conservative elite, I think there might be a preference for baseball.”

Lowry himself has been an avid Yankees fan for years. “One of my most prized possessions as a kid was a hat [my dad] brought back from a trip to New York. It was probably one of the most ratty things — I never took it off my head.”

E-mail Caroline May and follow her on Twitter

  • wwew

    conservatives love baseball because the rich usually win, like real life only more boring.

  • mr_uptempo

    Baseball is a bastion of conservatism? Hmmm. Let’s see.

    -MLB owners crying poor-mouth (quite often used as an excuse for not fielding competitive teams) while actually pocketing boatloads of cash? Check.

    -MLB owners holding up municipalities to finance boondoggles (stadia) and tax breaks, all under the guise of “job creation”? Check.

    -MLB owners whining for, and getting, an antitrust exemption, to completely lock out any possible competitors? Check.

    -An organization (MLB) that maintained a “gentlemen’s agreement”, refusing the inclusion of African Americans into their ranks, until most clubs were dragged, kicking and screaming, into finally let them play? Check.

    -An organization (MLB) that maintained the reserve clause (making players merely chattel, to be used as owners desired) until the mid 70′s, when it was legally denied from using it anymore? Check.

    -An organization (MLB) that was found guilty, on several occasions, of collusion, in an attempt to illegally hold down player salaries? Check.

    So, what do we have? Greedy. Dishonest. Racist. Anti-competitive. Anti-labor. Anti-free will. Anti-fair play.

    You’re right! Now I see why conservatives have would feel that baseball is their sport.

    Actually, as a liberal, I enjoy baseball immensely. In its purest form, I especially enjoy how a group of strong, talented individuals band together, as a team, to accomplish a goal. THAT is a liberal virtue.

    It seems the only thing conservatives like about baseball is how it can be twisted to turn a buck.

  • Pingback: links for 2010-09-03 « Marty Andrade