Western Courier

Sluggers revive baseball

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With all the hoopla surrounding the home-run race by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, the most important facet of the whole event has almost been overlooked: This race is helping bring fans back to the sport of baseball.After the 1994 strike in which the league canceled the World Series and then attempted to play the next season with replacement players, made up of amateurs and minor leaguers, the league needed something to help bring back the magic and mystique that it once had in the fans’ hearts.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig tried all the tricks and gimmicks in order to bring the fans back after the strike.

Well, forget the inter-league play and expansion teams, as nothing could have been better for the sport than what has transpired.

Due to the actions of McGwire and Sosa, the fans have found a reason to believe again. They have found a reason to believe in their dreams and their athletes. After the horrible acts of athletes like Albert Belle, Roberto Alomar and Barry Bonds hurting the game, it’s refreshing to see players try to show young people how to act.

They take the time to speak to the fans after the game and autograph their bats and balls. They donate money to charities and participate in community events.

But the best thing they have done for the game is bring back the excitement which seemed to have been lacking in recent years.

When Big Mac hit his 61st home run Monday, every park in the league that had a game playing at that time put the game on hold and played the hit on the big screen. Every stadium gave him a standing ovation. Baseball hasn’t seen that kind of interest in decades.

McGwire and Sosa have done more than just get people to stand up and take notice of the race. They have made people stand up and take notice of how to act with class, dignity and respect.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Sluggers revive baseball