Spring Training should have started this week in Major League Baseball. We should have been talking about the Braves defending their World Series title. We should have been talking about the exciting free agent movement and teams that will be taking aim at coming for their crown in anticipation of the 2022 season. Instead, the MLB is in an ugly lockout over wages. It’s bad for the fans, it’s bad for the players, and it’s bad for the game.

However, in protest of the lockout, we want to remain positive when regarding one of the best American pastimes ever created. This will (hopefully) be the 119th season of MLB, so here are 119 things we love about baseball in three different categories. This sport IS growing and SHOULD continue to grow, and we’re blowing it. We miss you, baseball.

At the Ballpark

  1. The true fans taking off work together in honor of Opening Day
  2. Every ballpark is different and has a unique personality
  3. Sundaes in a novelty helmet
  4. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
  5. Fireworks after a home run
  6. When a ballboy/girl or batboy/girl makes an amazing play
  7. When a little kid gets a foul ball and has an huge smile on his/her face
  8. The mascots are all relatively awesome (except for you, Orbit)
  9. Buying nose-bleed seat tickets to the game and sneaking up several rows
  10. There are games in the middle of a cornfield at the Field of Dreams now
  11. When a home run goes into McCovey Cove in San Francisco
  12. When a home run goes into the absurd pool at Chase Field in Arizona
  13. The Green Monster in Fenway
  14. When you flip your hat inside out to make it a rally hat and it works
  15. Shutting down the wave by not participating when it comes to you
  16. The Brewers Racing Sausages
  17. Every team has some sort of signature food delicacy
  18. The ballparks that still use organists to play music
  19. Kids that bring gloves to the park with such high hopes to potentially get a foul ball
  20. When it’s a bobblehead souvenir night
  21. Dollar hot dog night
  22. When the drinks come in a cool souvenir cup
  23. The moment you step onto the concourse and immediately smell a combination of cracker jacks, hotdogs, soda, or candied nuts
  24. The ride on public transportation with a ton of strangers in team apparel, but they feel like family in that moment
  25. The anticipation that builds up on the walk from the parking lot where you can see the stadium
  26. High-fiving a stranger after a home run like you’ve known him/her your entire life
  27. The look of pure elation on fans’ faces when they unknowingly get put on the jumbotron
  28. The guy complaining about an umpire’s call from one mile away in the nosebleeds
  29. When a home run hits that random rock formation in the outfield at Angels Stadium
  30. The perfect sunset with the LA palm-treed skyline at Dodger Stadium
  31. The thrill of deciding to stay throughout extra innings, not knowing when you’ll get home
  32. The lore of baseball cards, sunflower seeds, and bubble gum is such a niche lifestyle that you grow up with

The Game

  1. There’s no time limit
  2. It’s the easiest major sport to also talk to your friends and family when attending
  3. You can be completely out-of-shape and be one of the very best at it
  4. There’s no such thing as “out of play” so players can fly into seats trying to make a catch and it’s perfectly fine
  5. Walk-Off celebrations at home plate
  6. It’s 162 games- that’s a glorious constant you can depend upon that feels ever-
    Photo: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

    present

  7. Talking yourself into a World Series after looking at the opening day lineup and rotation
  8. A leadoff home run
  9. Saying “____ is on pace for _____” as an absurd statistic to start off the beginning of the year that won’t last
  10. It’s the only sport where the coaches wear uniforms too
  11. Bat-flips are fun and the olds cry about it
  12. “Yankees suck” chants
  13. “Beat LA” chants
  14. Collectively making Astros cheating jokes together
  15. Because it requires the most players, there are the most personalities that make up the embodiment of the team
  16. The talent is arguably the youngest and most-diverse it has ever been
  17. There are probably the most statistics in this sport than any other, so even nerds like it
  18. It has such a prestigious value on history and tradition (except we all hate the Hall of Fame)
  19. Everyone wearing 42 for Jackie Robinson Day
  20. The best looking hats and uniforms in sports
  21. It’s a complete team sport where you can’t win with just a few superstars (sorry, Angels)
  22. When you think all hope is lost in an inning and they turn a double play
  23. The heated tension in rivalry games like Yankees-Red Sox or Dodgers-Giants
  24. Cardinals fans considering themselves to be the “classiest fans in sports”
  25. A triple-play
  26. The excitement of a sacrifice fly and the throw home at the end of a game
  27. The games at the beginning of the year in cold weather cities where you see baseball being played in the snow
  28. It’s the only sport where you can play two games in a day and double-headers rule
  29. Watching a starting pitcher go the full 9 innings
  30. Home runs going extra-far in Colorado because of the altitude
  31. Rooting for the Mariners to snap the longest postseason drought in major league sports
  32. An inside the park home run
  33. When a fat guy steals a base
  34. Retired numbers are sacred
  35. It’s a year-long conversation you can have with locals since the season is so arduous
  36. The Roberto Clemente Award
  37. The Angels have a “rally monkey” for some reason and it rules
  38. You can fail 70/100 times at the plate and be considered awesome (.300 batting average, that’s math, folks)
  39. The wild drumline-playing fans in Oakland despite the stadium being mostly empty very often
  40. The fans that are so passionate about their team that they’re in a constant state of anxiety or frustration
  41. The fans that are happy with ANY form of success
  42. Playing for a trophy that is MORE than “just a piece of metal”
  43. The one-game wild card games are as intense as it gets
  44. The playoff format is incredibly hard to get in
  45. You could call up a minor leaguer and completely change your team for the next decade
  46. The hitting order and pitching matchups makes it incredibly strategic
  47. When a player beats the shift
  48. The electricity of a speedy player reaching on a bunt
  49. A “strike him out throw him out” double play
  50. Joe Buck getting incredibly excited on the mic in a postseason game where it goes to extra innings
  51. All of us collectively hating when A-Rod calls games
  52. When you hate the Yankees but the consensus is that you still have to respect Derek Jeter
  53. Either the Universal DH is implemented this year or we get miraculous pitcher hits

Players

  1. SHOHEI OHTANI
  2. Ronald Acuna Jr.’s chains
  3. Bryce Harper’s hair flips
  4. Juan Soto’s “Soto shuffle”
  5. Max Scherzer looking like an insanely mad person on the mound throwing with two different-colored angry eyes
  6. Max Scherzer looking like an insanely mad person on the mound throwing with two different-colored angry eyes
  7. Fernando Tatis Jr. dancing in the dugout
  8. Memes when 6’7 Aaron Judge stands next to 5’6 Jose Altuve at second base
  9. Lance Lynn barrelling to the dugout like a roaring grizzly bear after striking out a batter
  10. Anything Mike Trout does
  11. Freddie Freeman’s pure joy during segments where he’s mic’d up
  12. Forever thinking the Rays can’t win with their low spending and terrible ballpark and they outsmart us all
  13. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. carrying out the great legacy of his dad
  14. When Clayton Kershaw’s curveball makes batters think it’s going to hit them only for it to fall perfectly in the strike zone
  15. Jacob deGrom’s ridiculous fastball
  16. Making jokes about how Jacob deGrom only gives up a maximum of 2 runs and the Mets still find a way to lose it for him
  17. Nolan Arenado making a ridiculous fielding play at third base
  18. Nelson Cruz still hitting mammoth home runs while being the age of a mammoth
  19. Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina pitching together for the longest time together as pitcher and catcher ever
  20. Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito, and Max Fried all went to the same high school together and are studs
  21. Madison Bumgarner being the Gregg Popovich of press conferences/interviews
  22. Amir Garrett potentially wanting to fight anyone at any given moment
  23. Miguel Cabrera hitting an opposite field home run that you thought was just a blooper but he’s just that strong
  24. Ozzie Albies hitting tank home runs despite being 5’8
  25. Charlie Blackmon being a stud outfielder despite looking like a Civil War veteran
  26. Yu Darvish having some sort of pitching science with movements he creates
  27. Joey Votto having unbelievable quotes in press conferences saying things you just wouldn’t believe
  28. Liam Hendriks yelling and cursing on the mound in an Australian accent
  29. The Marlins having Kim Ng, the first female full-time executive and GM
  30. Tyler Glasnow’s flowing hair that makes him look like a Cyllian Murphy doppelganger
  31. When someone gets a hit off of Aroldis Chapman’s 103 mph fastball
  32. Gabe Kapler going from ridiculed and fired manager after a short time in Philly to being the manager of the year of the best team in baseball
  33. Javier Baez’s incredible tagging skills at second base
  34. Trey Mancini beating cancer and coming back and absolutely dominating
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