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MLB needs to invest in youth to keep baseball alive

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USA Today, April 2021

We applaud the decision by Major League Baseball (MLB) to move this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the state’s legislative attempt to suppress the Black vote. Despite the political fallout and the critics who see this as just another case of “Cancel Culture,” there is a practical element to the decision. It would surely be embarrassing to the MLB if players honored as all-stars opted out in protest. Plus, by relocating the festivities to Denver’s Coors Field, having scores of baseballs soar deep through the thin mile-high air will enhance the Home Run Derby.

While they are at it, MLB officials should consider yet another move. How about changing the first pitch from nighttime to daytime? Baseball is America’s Pastime alright, but not in the traditional sense. The game’s Midsummer Classic is past the bedtime of many young fans. And come October, with World Series games commencing after 8 PM EST, few youngsters will be permitted to stay up on a school night to watch games often lasting past midnight. 

Baseball fan demographics 

During the regular season, it is not just weekday games that are scheduled under the lights. Many of the weekend games are nighttime affairs as well. There are occasional day games, even on weekdays, when a team wants to get away early for a road trip. That adjustment in scheduling is, of course, for the benefit of the players, not young fans.

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