What Americans are so fascinated by baseball? What makes it a beautiful game?
Its long and rich history. Baseball has existed nearly as long as the US as the earliest pro teams were organized shortly after the Civil War, and baseball stats go back nearly as far. There’s always lots to talk about concerning how this or that player compares with past greats.
Baseball has a complex structure due to its fascinating combination of slowness and speed, where the early parts of the game are about scoring runs and the later parts of the game are about holding leads or comeback strategies. It is full of game situations that literally change from pitch to pitch.
No clock. Baseball is completely self-defining, so you can’t run out the clock. You can be 10 runs down in the ninth inning and still have a chance to win. In clock-base games, a couple of scores ahead late in the game and it’s over, and most defensive strategies emphasize various forms of running out the clock.
Its slowness and constant starts and stops allow for lots of socializing and conversation while watching the game. Lots of chats between parents and children happen at ballparks, as the kids learn the rules, talk about the players, and ask about game situations. They even come to the game wearing Jason Heyward jerseys or any of their favorite player’s jerseys.
It’s hard to get into baseball if you didn’t grow up with it. Baseball is quite complex, and hard to pick up unless you’re watching with fans who know the game well and explain it well.