As the America’s past time has evolved in the age of instant gratification, the game of baseball has always been at risk of losing out on maintain a fan base of the young and digital.
Critics have talked about the pace of the game, which can slog a game past the four mark some times.
Old people talk about the unwritten rules which make baseball even more confusing to maintain those barriers to entry.
One of the few shining lights of hope is the downward trend of pee wee football registrations over the last decades as moms and dads across the country have begun to shift their children towards less combative sports like basketball and baseball with the studies on brain injuries to football players.
If you study group social dynamics, you know that just because parents are shifting sports doesn’t mean the number of parents who drive their kids to get college scholarships have gone down. Instead of football, the logical sport to choose if you don’t win the genetic lottery of being 6’6″ or taller, is baseball, so there is an uptick in the type of athletes you’re seeing in baseball now, from Mike Trout to Mookie Betts to our very own Cody Bellinger.
In the upcoming All-Star game in Cleveland, the average age of the 8 national league starters is 25.8 years old. If Dave Roberts goes with Pete Alonso at age 24, this would be the youngest lineup every since the 1967 NL and 2017 AL lineups.
“I’ve never seen this much young talent in the game,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who will lead the NL. “There’s a lot of fun players to watch — talented and the personalities from some of these young players.”
The chances are Roberts won’t be giving the honor to the rookie, but at the end of the day, it shows a shift in voting demographics. MLB has made it easier for younger demographics to vote (albeit a work in progress system) with their partnership with Google. This year, fans were asked to vote up until June 21 and the top 3 vote-getters for each position were then submitted in a new round of votes on the following Wednesday and Thursday.
Despite the clunkiness, the votes show that there is interest amongst a young, digital demographic and the sport has a potential to get back on track towards an upward trend in interest to counter the downward trend in the stats you see below: