Baseball Changes

The signing of Ken Griffey Jr. to the Cincinnati Reds for 9 years at $112 million,

is a prime example that there is a considerable amount of changes in major league.

baseball. The reason for these changes is the athleticism of the players. Once the players

began to throw harder, run faster, and hit further, they made the demand for more money

and less obligation from owners. After the style of the players’ game changed, the league

officials changed the rules and regulations, not to mention the playing field. Also, the

popularity of the game has changed back to where it used to be in the early 90’s.

Since the Sosa/Maguire season, baseball has came back in the vocabulary of many people.

In the first half of the century baseball was the only pure sport to most Americans.

In those days, kids and adults played baseball on every street corner. This was a time

when players played for the love of the game. In fact the salaries were so low that most

players had job before and after the game. Now, major league baseball is one of the

highest paying sports known to man. The salary of a ball player in the first half of the

century wouldn’t pay a ball player’s fine for charging the mound and an ejection at these

times. I guess Babe Ruth would be a bum on the streets of New York these days.

In professional baseball almost every team has a pitcher that throws in the high

90’s, and a hitter that can take the ball over the fence 30 or more times a season. This is

why league officials changed the size of the field. The second oldest diamond, Wrigley

Field looks like the neighborhood playground compared to Cominsky Park. The rules and

regulations have changed, but not drastically. The only game stopping decision officials

tried to make is the salary cap in 1995. That was the year that there wasn’t a playoff or

World Series because the players went on strike to protest for higher salaries. The strike

is the reason why some ex-ball players and older fans despise the game of baseball in the

90’s. Also because millions of dollars is far too much to receive for playing a game for

fun. Even the length of the game is a problem for some fans and officials. In the last few

years officials started to raise an issue that the flow of the game moves like a 50-year-old

turtle, slow without fascination. Now pitchers have to move faster and make quicker

decisions to keep the game moving. In early baseball, most games would last about 3 or

4 hours, now they all last about two and a half including commercials and inning


In the 80’s baseball began to lose popularity to the NBA. Soon kids in America

wanted to be Micheal Jordan and Magic Johnson. Basketball seemed like the sport of the

future for most of the country. Then in the late 90’s Sammy Sosa and Mark Maguire

brought a big amount of popularity back to the game. In 1998 Sosa and Maguire both

broke one the highest ranking records in professional baseball. The Roger Maris

homerun record of 60 in regular season play is the most chased record in basesball. Sosa

hit 66 and Maguire hit an astonishing 70 homeruns. The chase for the record was

publicized as pro baseball’s savior. After the strike in 95 most fans gave up on baseball in

protest of the selfish behavior of the ball players. Once again baseball is a household

name in America.

Baseball used to be played for the love of the game, now like every sport it is

forever changing. Sometimes for the worst and sometimes for the best, the point is that

nothing can stay the forever, not even the purest game in the world.