162 Reasons Baseball is the Best Sport

by Ross Friedman

The season's been over for some time now
with the next one not nearly here
We use three other sports to fill the time
until next season's much more near

I want to remind you of the sensations
that are supplied by the game we love
Like the sound when that bat meets the ball
and the smell of a brand new glove

The other sports don't have these
that's why they're just the rest
So here's my top 162 reasons
why baseball is the best

162. "Play Ball!"
161. Throwing out the first pitch
160. Bob Sheppard's voice
159. Anthony Young
158. The resin bag
157. Vladimir Guerrero
156. Watching Ivan Rodriguez throw
155. Steve Balboni
154. The knuckleball
153. Julio Franco's batting stance
152. Umpires, not refs
151. The announcers don't write on the screen that much
150. 1908, 1917, 1918 and yet their fans still believe
149. Three generations of Boone's and Bell's
148. No penalties
147. Pitch-by-pitch updates on the Internet
146. Called strike three
145. The best songs (Talkin' Baseball, Centerfield)
144. September call-ups
143. Oscar Gamble's hair
142. Fans putting up K's
141. Harvey Haddix
140. The bench-clearing brawl
139. Nobody cares about the college game
138. Breaking up a double play
137. The 7th inning stretch
136. Baseball Cards
135. Hershiser's 59-straight innings
134. Deion Sanders is only playing football
133. The seeing-eye-single
132. Watching Andruw Jones play centerfield
131. El Duque's leg kick
130. Chan Ho Park's drop kick
129. Bob Tewksbury's floater
128. Rollie Finger's mustache
127. The catcher giving the sign
126. The conference on the mound
125. The commissioner used to be a used car salesman (we all have a chance)
124. 3000 hits, 500 home runs, 300 wins
123. Gene Tennace, Luis Sojo, Pat Borders
122. Bill Wambsganss
121. They only play the Canadian national anthem if a Canadian team is playing
120. 2632
119. Ozzie Smith's backflip
118. Who would have thought the White Sox would make the playoffs in 2000?
117. Teams play each other 2, 3, or 4 games in a row
116. The St. Louis Browns and the Washington Senators
115. Statistics for every occasion
114. E6
113. No teams called the Thrashers or Hurricanes
112. Even the worst team usually wins 60 games
111. The best All-Star game
110. No pepper games allowed
109. Wayne Gretzky bought a Honus Wagner baseball card
108. Keith Olberman's mom has season tickets
107. The pine tar incident
106. Two teams in each of the country's largest cities (LA football???)
105. It's okay to scratch yourself
104. The three-run homer
103. Songs closers come into the game with, like Hells Bells (Hoffman) and Enter Sandman (Rivera)
102. Catcher in the Wry, hmm...
101. All the fields are different sizes
100. Most diversity among players (yes, that's a good thing Mr. Rocker)
99. 3 strikes, 3 outs, 9 innings, 9 men, 90 feet
98. 70
97. Waving a guy around third (except for the 2000 Red Sox)
96. Spike Lee doesn't go to every Yankee game
95. Brein Taylor, Paul Wilson, Ruben Rivera
94. They play every day
93. Peanuts and Crackerjacks
92. The "5-tool" player
91. An inside-the-park home run
90. Managers and coaches wear uniforms too
89. Abner Doubleday
88. Kirk Gibson's home run
87. Roy Hobbs, Crash Davis, Willie Mays Hayes
86. Dick Vitale doesn't announce baseball, baby!
85. Only sport played during the summer
84. No instant replay
83. The suicide squeeze
82. Debating who's better, Barry Bonds or his godfather, Willie Mays
81. www.JBaseball (shameless plug)
80. Players can reach into the stands to catch a ball
79. Van Lingo Mungo
78. Cheapest ticket
77. Vin Scully
76. The dugout
75. Carlton Fisk's home run
74. The most natural grass (unless you count marijuana and then the NBA may have it)
73. Best bonding sport for parent and child
72. Little League
71. Only sport enjoyable on the radio
70. Best movies (Major League, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams)
69. The '62 Mets
68. If Jimy Williams can manage, why can't I?
67. Scuffing and corking
66. Best jokes (every move Chuck LaMarr makes)
65. Not getting a hit 70% of the time isn't bad (imagine a 30% completion percentage or Shaq's free throws)
64. The 1998 season
63. Harpo Marx playing Take Me Out to the Ballgame on an "I Love Lucy" episode
62. Ken Griffey Jr.'s home run swing
61. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa
60. The play at the plate
59. 755
58. Rivalries dating back over 100 years
57. Ebbett's Field, The Polo Grounds, Sportsman's Park
56. Don Larsen's Perfect Game
55. Johnny Vander Meer
54. Chin music
53. Baseball doesn't send major leaguers to the Olympics
52. Steve Traschel can beat Pedro and Duque 1-0, in back-to-back games, on the road
51. "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"
50. Torrez, Williams, Branca, Downing, Terry, Traschel
49. Alomar and Vizquel turning two
48. The best show on television (Baseball Tonight)
47. Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr.
46. Ballpark franks
45. Michael Jordan can't hit a curveball
44. Watching Pedro Martinez pitch
43. Watching Mariano Rivera close
42. Jackie Robinson
41. 56 games and .406
40. The minor leagues
39. Gehrig's speech
38. Jim Fregosi for Nolan Ryan
37. Two guys named Bobo
36. The best book ever written (Total Baseball)
35. Standing and clapping for the third strike
34. Extra innings, not overtime
33. Don't have to pronounce French-Canadian names
32. Ruth's called shot
31. Bob Ueker
30. Casey at the Bat
29. Box Scores
28. Merkle, Lindstrom, Buckner
27. Murderers Row, The Wiz Kids, The Gashouse Gang
26. New, yet classy ballparks
25. Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz
24. Willie Mays' catch
23. Abbott and Costello
22. The Trinity (A-Rod, Nomar, Jeter)
21. Clemens vs. Piazza
20. Spring Training
19. The Hot Stove League
18. Chicks dig the long ball
17. Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field
16. Opening Day
15. The smell of a new baseball glove
14. Memorial Day and 4th of July games
13. The clock can't run out
12. Yogisms
11. The Fall Classic
10. Costanza!
9. Baseball caps
8. The crack of the bat
7. The home run call
6. Only eight teams make the playoffs
5. Pitchers and Catchers
4. Cooperstown
3. Don Zimmer's face
2. Hey Ernie, "Let's play two!"
1. It's America's National Pastime

Send Ross your opinions, comments or verbal abuse at ross@JBaseball.

© 2000 JBaseball 

"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" - Moneyball.