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The Future of Baseball

September 25, 1998 • Volume 8, Issue 36
Can it regain its old popularity?
By Philip Seib

Introduction

The camaraderie and good sportsmanship displayed by Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs during their dramatic home run 'war' has been a highlight of the 1998 season. (Photo Credit: Sue Ogrocki, Reuters)
The camaraderie and good sportsmanship displayed by Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs during their dramatic home run 'war' has been a highlight of the 1998 season. (Photo Credit: Sue Ogrocki, Reuters)

As the World Series approaches, baseball shines in its archaic glory. But even the home run exploits of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa cannot hide the fact that other sports now rival the popularity of America's “national pastime.” Baseball's problems — most of them rooted in the economics of modern sports — have diminished the quality of the game and the loyalty of its fans. As baseball executives ponder further expansion, as players’ salaries continue to soar and as minorities turn to other sports, big league baseball seems increasingly distant from its sandlot roots. Before it is too late, critics say, baseball owners must stop diluting the quality of play and reduce costs so that the game doesn’t become too expensive for its fans.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jan. 29, 2010  Professional FootballUpdated
Apr. 03, 2009  Extreme Sports
Jul. 23, 2004  Sports and DrugsUpdated
Sep. 25, 1998  The Future of Baseball
Feb. 10, 1995  The Business of Sports
Apr. 22, 1994  Soccer in America
Jul. 26, 1991  Athletes and Drugs
Feb. 09, 1990  Free Agency: Pro Sports' Big Challenge
Apr. 08, 1988  High Stakes of Sports Economics
Jan. 27, 1984  Advances in Athletic Training
May 21, 1982  Soccer in America
Jun. 28, 1974  Sports Business
Sep. 01, 1971  Professional Athletes
Jun. 12, 1963  Deaths and Injuries in Sports
Jul. 27, 1951  Monopoly Controls in Organized Sport
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Sports and Recreation
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