A Major Baseball League
In the United States, baseball is generally regarded as a popular national pastime. Around the 1800s, it was played informally but has since evolved to the current state where it is professionally played. Alexander Joy Cartwright, a scientist from New York, contributed significantly to the development of baseball as a sport through the invention of the modern baseball field and rules in 1845 (Bevis, 2008). Over the years it has grown to attract a wide fan-base and in 2011 alone Philadelphia Phillies recorded the highest attendance with 3.7 million people in 162 games. The lowest viewer turn out in the same year was by Oakland Athletics which had a 1.5 million record. In spite of its popularity, little research has been done to establish the benefits it brings as a sport to a community. In light of this, this proposal, seeks to investigate the benefits of establishing a Major Baseball League A-league team in a community.
1.1 The research problem
A community which does not engage its people in a diverse selection of activities towards individual and group development faces many risks. Among some of the risks that they face are: increased crime rates, drug use and abuse, poor physical health and poor social relations. The above mentioned problems call for action to mitigate the negative impacts of the looming crisis.
1.2 Literature review
According to Human Kinetics (2006), sports have become a profound component of the American culture. In fact, sports have evolved from its traditional recreational outlook to become mega industry amounting to billions of dollars (Human Kinetics, 2006). The contagious impacts of sports have not only been felt in America, but the world over. In 2003, Statistics Canada (as cited in Human Kinetics, 2006) for example revealed that 8.3 million Canadians of fifteen years and above took active interest in different sporting activities. In England, the government recognizes sports as an important national cohesion tool and has thus included it among several government strategies (Larkin, 2008).
1.3 Deficiencies in the literature
There has been a significant gap in the available literature with regards to baseball as a sport. The available literature looks at benefits of sports from a general perspective with no special reference to baseball or the impacts introducing an A-league team to a certain locality would impact the community.
1.4 The audience to benefit
Human Kinetics (2006) has discussed the benefits of sports from three different stand-points; the individual benefits, the community benefits and the agency/organization benefits. Through the introduction of an A-league baseball team to a community, the same benefits will be enjoyed. Improved health and physical fitness are some of the individual benefits enjoyed by individuals. Through active participation in sports, excess energy is redirected into meaningful activities which not only reduces psychological tension, but emotional stress as well (Human Kinetics, 2006). Thomas and Cote (2006) asserted these sentiments when they stated that the psycho-physical benefits to individuals of indulging in any sporting activity are apparent. They propose that youth engage in sports to improve among other things cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and bone structure. Common ailments such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease or even depression in later years can be averted if young people are actively involved in sports from an early age (Thomas & Cote, 2006). In addition, social benefits such as social success, leadership skills and positive peer relations are a force to reckon with. Drug use and abuse by many will be reduced since people will engage their efforts to become professional players (Bevis, 2008).
Community cohesion will be enhanced because through social interaction, people will come together for a common course disregarding factors such as age, gender, race and ethnicity (Human Kinetics, 2006). According to Larkin (2008), sports foster social engagement that breaks down individual and community barriers. In addition, the crime rates reduce giving way to a safer community because sports promote pro-social as opposed to anti-social behavior (Larkin, 2006). The community can also reap economic benefits from sporting activities like introduction of an A-league baseball team. Employment opportunities both direct and indirect could arise. This could be in form of vending during baseball games held in the community from time to time. The community could also generate income through sales of goods and services through holding of baseball tournaments in the locality. People who come in from other places just to watch matches foster tourism in the locality and the money they bring in could be a boost to the local economy.
In conclusion, the introduction of a baseball A-league team to a community would be one of the best decisions to make. This is because it has numerous positive implications not only on the individuals in the society, but the community at large. Taking into account the social ills that have accosted the modern society, it would be in the best interest of everyone for local governments or sponsors to promote sporting activities such as initiating the introducing baseball A-league teams to their localities in order to curb vices that may arise due to idleness or disunity.
Bevis, C. (2008). The New England League: a baseball history, 1885-1949. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co.
Human Kinetics. (2006). Introduction to Recreation and Leisure. United States: n.p.
Larkin, A. (2008). Sports and Recreation and Community Building. Retrieved from http://www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/assets/pubs/industry/study_communitybuilding.pdf
Thomas, F.J., & Cote,J. (2006). Youth Sports: Implementing Findings and Moving Forward with Research. Athletic Insight: The Online Journal of Sport Psychology,8 (3), 12-27. Retrieved from http://athleticinsight.com/Vol8Iss3/YouthPDF.pdf