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How did baseball become so ‘troubled’ following WWII? What enabled the game to survive?
The history of baseball in the United States can be traced to the 18th century when amateurs played a baseball-like game by their informal rules using improvised equipment. The game was so popular that it inspired professional baseball clubs in the 1860s. Baseball is popular in America and around the world. The game went through a lot of trouble to attain its status and imaginable support it wields across the world . The paper will analyze the problems that baseball encountered and how it managed to survive and become a popular kind of sport.
Baseball teams needed better stadiums that could accommodate a large number of fans. Land was expensive, and the structures were dilapidated. World War II era saw ravaged structures. Some fields were difficult to reach as they were located in decaying neighborhoods. There was stiff competition among the teams that was imminent and stifled the effort of smaller teams. Bigger teams had better structures and were well prepared professionally; moreover, they were highly supported by numerous fans. Such a competitive pressure made smaller teams make less or no effort to develop their teams.
Bigger baseball teams were more organized and better equipped. Moreover, they were supported financially and had a bigger number of supporters unlike smaller teams in the league after World War II. Since there were many baseball supporters, it was easier to raise enough finances to run the affairs of the teams, like insurance, player allowances and payments. Moreover, obtaining a site of several hundred acres was a tall order. It was impacted by the fact that rules and regulations regarding tenancy were yet to be put in place since it was a time of transition and not so much was achieved. Congress was also busy publishing land bills to plan for the future growth and expansion of new cities. The war had also pulled most teams down financially and thus getting land was expensive. The land was now the property of municipalities, and there were allocation procedures and requirements to be met.
The automobile age also played some important role in regard to baseball by allowing wealthy people from suburban parts of cities to enjoy countryside rides. Since the automobile riding was the lifestyle of the time, the status of most of them demanded that they go out and have a ride with their families. The transfer of some teams from the East to West coast also increased baseball troubles after World War II and lessened the gains achieved in developing the League. The movement impacted negatively on the teams.
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The shifting character of the Americans in regard to leisure and the growth of metropolises also played an important role in causing distress to the teams. Baseball is a game that had been mainly supported by the rich majority who were ready to enjoy and have fun, but everything changed due to new ideologies related to family and automobile glamour. The growth of the metropolises also led to limited space for constructions and high prices for land that was used for construction of the fields. It also led to movement of people inside and outside the cities creating inconsistency in the playing surface of the clubs.
Technological advancements and introduction of television greatly impacted the game and reducing its quack-mire. Thus, most people who had television sets preferred to stay home or visit their friends to enjoy their favorite drink or meal while watching baseball games. The introduction of television drastically reduced the numbers of supporters visiting the games after the war thus reducing the amount of revenue collected by the clubs and leading to management problems.
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What enabled the game to survive?
State companies became the sponsors of the teams that were a big leap forward. The support saw a big number of teams and players remain in the national league and thus the growth and survival were enhanced. Most of the teams had been edged out due to financial constraints, and this was a grant opportunity for other teams to remain in the game and manage the welfare of their players. The mega support saw the flourishing and fast growth of suburbs.
Recreation brought out the essence of entertainment and recreational standards, colorful team uniforms, cocktail lounges, comfortable seats, attentive stewards etc . To promote hospitality and develop a sense of belonging horse-race tracks were created, escalators were built to safely and quickly carry people, restaurants with courteous personnel were opened etc. Businesses ventured into baseball as a business, making it viable and thus leading to its survival. Air transport lessened the costs of movement making it easier for teams to attend league matches. Business people also got an opportunity to invest in the clubs to earn dividends. The investments pumped a new portion of energy into the teams.
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In conclusion, baseball went through a lot of challenges after World War II but it managed to stand the test of time due to the prevalent support structures. The game has since gained an imaginable level being greatly supported by millions of people worldwide.
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