A day with the pinstripers

I went up to the Bronx yesterday to see the New York Yankees play the LA Angels. Glorious scorcher of a cloudless day, and a packed stadium. The Yankees beat the Angels 12-0, so it wasn’t exactly nail-biting, but the fans were suitably exuberant as they left the stadium.

One thing that struck me was the ethnic diversity of the sport. The Yankees starting lineup is an approximately even mix of Asian, Hispanic, Black and White players. I couldn’t think of another sport that’s so ethnically diverse (even soccer looks more homogenous). Presumably this has something to do with the fact that you don’t have to have a certain body shape to be a good baseball player.

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10 Responses to A day with the pinstripers

  1. Paul Frijters says:

    wash your mouth with soap and water! You cant beat football for diversity with that silly game where they wave bats about in the middle of a park and wave their oversized bumbs backwards. Really!
    Football involves far more ethnicities than baseball. Its the number one game in Latin America, Europe, Africa and many countries in Asia as well. Baseball is a paultry minority sport played seriously in only a few countries by comparison. In the UK, most top teams in soccer have far fewer UK-born players than overseas players; its the one sport where the top Africans and Latin Americans can go to any of the top teams in any of the countries. Foreigners even dominate the J-league. Within Europe, there’s a whole circus of foreigners playing in other countries (lots of Eastern Europeans and even Asians). Unlike baseball, the ethnic diversity on the football pitch reflects the ethnic diversity of the population. Since the US is dominated by whites, its amazing to hear the mix in baseball is even on the field. It tells you it is NOT the game of everyone.

    Body shape theories, really….which ethnicity would you say has the right bodyshape for football?

  2. Jamie says:

    Paul, Andrew was referring to diversity within the team rather than across the game.

  3. Sinclair Davidson says:

    WTF?! Football is played in Australia only. Soccer is the diverse game that Paul is talking about. Says it all really…

    More seriously, baseball is very boring. I got taken to game several years ago and after some time said to my US host ‘These guys have been warming up for a long time. When is the game going start?’ It was the third innings already.

  4. Derek Winter says:

    Sinclair…rugby union…rugby league, in Australia is incorrectly described as football. Football is what in Aussie and the US as known as soccer. Also rugby of each code is played in uk and europe. Cheers.( PS as for baseball it used to be a girls game called rounders when i was a kid at school).

  5. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Derek – you miss the point. Aussie Rules FOOTBALL is Australia’s greatest contribution to civilisation. To besmirch that wonderful game with foul comparisons to soccer is simply beyond the pale. Rugby – ha. I’ve watched US football so I can’t say if it is any good or not.

    We used to play rounders at school during PT in summer – I think it’s called softball not baseball and the size of the ball is the difference. Baseball has a small harder ball and softball and larger ball.

  6. Sinclair Davidson says:

    that should be “never watched US”

  7. Brendan Halfweeg says:

    Real New Yorkers are Mets fans, Yankee fans are bandwagoners. I must say I had a very enjoyable afternoon at Shea Stadium last year during the Mets great start, however besides beer drinking and general Homering it up, basball just doesn’t have the tension and excitment of a 5 day cricket test match, the ultimate sport of individual greatness, teamwork and endurance.

  8. Paul Frijters says:

    Derek is quite right, it is FIFA (Fed. of Int. Football Associations), EUFA, and the FA Cup, and not the FISA, EUSA, or the SA Cup. Its only a couple of language outliers who refer to the World Game as soccer or who mistake the noble game of football with rugby.

    My ire was mainly raisted though at Andrew’s throwaway comment at the end, i.e. that baseball was multi-ethnic because it doesnt require a particular body shape. I repeat, Andrew, what ethnicity in your opinion has the body shape suited for football?

  9. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Paul, you have assilimate, to call that girly game ‘football’ is a travesty. There can be only one football – Aussie rules. I think we can all agree on rugby 🙂

    Seriously, picking up on Andrew’s last point, many basball players look fat – especially compared to football players who have distinctive body shapes depending on the code. AFL players tend to be muscular and lean. Riugby players tend to be bigger in the upper body than AFL players. Soccer players are not as muscular – so the style of play (and training for the style) has an impact on how the body shape.

  10. Yobbo says:

    Aussie Rules also doesn’t require specific body types. You have Peter Bell at one end and Aaron Sandilands at the other – and they play for the same team.

    The reason baseball is so ethnically diverse is simply because a lot of Ethnically Diverse countries play it.

    Most of the asian players you will find are actually Japanese imports. Baseball is huge in Japan, not so much anywhere else outside of the Americas. It is very popular in The US, and in a few countries in Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

    Cricket is another sport that doesn’t rely on body shape for success, – unless you count deformed elbows that allow you to break the rules of course (giggle).

    Seriously, picking up on Andrew’s last point, many basball players look fat

    Pretty easy explanation for that – Baseball requires less running than any sport with the possible exception of Darts and Snooker. It’s pretty much all about hand-eye co-ordination and strength. Babe Ruth was about Kim Beazley’s size.

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