Narrative Essay On A Baseball

­Little League has left the inner cities, but Pop Warner Youth Football has not.There is also a lot of speculation about differences in the routes to professional-­level play, focusing on how the various drafts work and how that might affect a young person's choice of game.

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This strikes me as rational-choice theory gone haywire.

When youngsters head out to shoot hoops or play catch, they aren't calculating the odds of professional success (if they were, they would concentrate on school instead).

Football is to baseball as heavy metal or rap is to classical or jazz.

Some commentators have claimed that the disappearance of American blacks from baseball is rooted in economics.

A little big-eyed boy holding his father's hand." Because of the way in which baseball links the generations it has been a channel through which vital traits of American character are instilled.

The health of baseball concerns all of America, and the health of ­America — perhaps especially the American family — finds itself reflected in the state of our national pastime.Baraka explains: "Those other Yankees and Giants and Dodgers we followed just to keep up with being in America. The trend has been noted, lamented in some quarters, but nowhere adequately explained.My strong hunch is that the declining interest and involvement in baseball is a consequence of the absence of fathers in the black community.Whites freely attended Negro League games and blacks attended Major League Baseball games (albeit in segregated seating).Baraka, at that point still known by his birth name of Le Roi Jones, says that he "remained a Giant ‘fan,' cause me fadder was, even when J. came on the scene [Robinson played for the rival Dodgers]." Thus, until the last incarnation of the Negro Leagues folded in 1960, African-Americans often had double baseball allegiances. But for the black teams, and for us Newarkers, the Newark Eagles, was pure love." Today, you'd be hard pressed to find a black barbershop in the land where the TV or the conversation was tuned to a baseball game.Kids play what they love, which is not determined by rational calculation, nor foreclosed by poverty (at least not in the case of a democratic game like baseball).In the past, city kids without resources were resourceful enough to play ­stickball — and a farm boy like my dad learned to stitch together the leather on his one baseball to keep it playable.The argument runs that because baseball requires more expensive gear than basketball and more infrastructure (tended fields, leagues, and such), impoverished black youths have perforce given up on the game.This explanation doesn't wash for football, however, which is the most gear-laden of sports.And unfortunately, the experience of the young Amiri Baraka is becoming all too rare.Many commentators have noted the marked decline in the number of African-Americans watching and playing baseball.


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