Life-Long Baseball Fan Howard G. Peretz Pays Tribute to the Game He Loves, While Dismantling the Business Side and Recommending Needed Fixes
In his new publication, published author and sports historian Howard G. Peretz, The Old School Sports Junkie, demonstrates baseball is as viable today as ever; however, he believes the "empty suits" are not true believers and are- more concerned about revenue than selling the game to a new generation. So, he has written a two-part Fans' Guide. Part one of this flip book is a white paper appropriately titled Saving Baseball, while part two, titled Saving Baseball's Greatest Finishes, covers 100 games from 1906-1919, ranked from top to bottom.
In part one, the author lays out eleven detailed recommendations for "fixing the game," beginning with walking away from the Holy Grail proclaiming baseball is America's National Pastime. He also suggests that baseball play-up the Mano a Mano confrontation between the nasty power pitcher and slugger, provide incentives to ticket buyers, bring back daytime single admission holiday doubleheaders, and more.
While part two includes 100 objectively selected games, ranked by Magical Moment (1-40 points), Last Play Outcome (1-25), Game Importance (1-15), Surrounding Environment/hype (1-10), and Upset/Comeback (1-10). Not a single game had a perfect score, but Bobby Thomson's 1951 playoff blast, "The Giants Win the Pennant!" was close.
COVID-19 cannot be used to excuse baseball for not getting its house in order - the game was already heading south, though that drop was masked by a continuous stream of revenue growth and franchise appreciation.
As sportscaster Al Michaels correctly said at the conclusion of the NFL's 2019 regular season, "The NFL, not MLB, is our National Pastime." The NBA is on its way to second place, and baseball soon to be in the third in the ranking of pro sports. Baseball will have no choice but to downsize - an art form difficult to navigate. Sadly, once the dominoes start falling, they rarely stop.
Critics say "baseball is like watching grass grow." I've watched the same grass grow for 72 years. My dad took me to my first game at Yankee Stadium to root for our neighborhood team when I was eight years old.
The only problem with being a fan of the pinstripes is that because the Yankees won all the time, I was not prepared for life's up and down roller coaster ride.
George Will, noted political commenter and baseball lover, said it eloquently: "Baseball it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal."