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Baseball During The Great Depression Essay

1013 words - 4 pages

Baseball remains today one of America’s most popular sports, and furthermore, baseball is one of America’s most successful forms of entertainment. As a result, Baseball is an economic being of its own. However, the sustainability of any professional sport organization depends directly on its economic capabilities. For example, in Baseball, all revenue is a product of the fans reaction to ticket prices, advertisements, television contracts, etc. During the devastating Great Depression in 1929, the fans of baseball experienced fiscal suffering. The appeal of baseball declined as more and more people were trying to make enough money to live. There was a significant drop in attention, attendance, and enjoyment. Although baseball’s vitality might have seemed threatened by the overwhelming Great Depression, the baseball community modernized their sport by implementing new changes that resulted in the game’s survival.
Radio broadcasting was one development that kept “America’s Pastime” alive, and provided the sport with additional audience. During these rough times, many people did not have enough money to purchase tickets to baseball games, so listening to the radio was an option that was very appealing. Naturally, some baseball club owners claimed that putting games on the air was hurting attendance. However, evidence shows that the radio broadcasting caused more people to gain interest in the sport, causing more people to attend the sport. For example, the St. Louis Cardinals outlawed broadcasting during the 1934 season, and attendance levels decreased to 283,000 less than the 1931 championship season. The public clearly enjoyed the new radio broadcasting of games, and the media expressed their feelings. The Chicago Tribune released a fervent argument for broadcasting of games saying that many people cannot afford baseball, and that their “finest interest is maintained by air reports.” The article goes on to say that people have time to listen to radio but not to go to baseball games. The article suggests that when the economic situation is better, more people will be willing to attend games. This argument shows the strong support that many people felt for radio broadcasting. Radio broadcasting contributed to the survival of baseball in two ways. First, radio broadcast kept people who could not afford tickets interested in the game. Second, radio broadcasting brought in new fans that lived far away or never could afford to attend games. Therefore, radio broadcasting was a popular and ingenious contribution to the survival of baseball during the great depression.
In addition, the farm system was created and refined during the great depression. The farm system was a way to cut down the expensive sums of money spent on buying new players. Lauren Vorel, who is a baseball historian, describes the farm system by saying, “The farm system allowed major league teams to develop ballplayers in the minor league teams and draft them up to the...

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