Rowley: The face(s) of baseball

From SABR member Meg Rowley at Baseball Prospectus on April 7, 2017:

You have to believe that baseball says something more. It has to bring you joy; it has to seem a part of you. We still have to resist dwelling overlong in nostalgia; it’s important to be clear-headed. Baseball’s sins have been against people; it’s guilty of smaller vices like sentimentality, too. It was never so pure and it’s often addled. But we have to agree that we’re getting a little something more than setting the conditions for selling caps or shoes. That’s what makes all of this work.

Earlier this week, Jayson Stark of ESPN published a piece exploring the dearth of active baseball players whose fame transcends the sport. Since Derek Jeter’s retirement, we have been without a Face of Baseball.

The game has an economic interest in expanding its appeal, and has rightly noted that despite a wave of charismatic young talent and a popular World Series, it lacks its own LeBron James. Stark spoke to baseball executives, players’ agents, and advertising types, and they all agreed this faceless-ness was a problem.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 7, 2017. Last Updated: April 7, 2017.