I have long been a fan of Baseball having watched it on TV since 1984 (and currently semi watch 5 or 6 games a week in the evening UK time) when I was only little and so got premium seats for the game as I knew I would enjoy it.
Some have said it is the first time real Baseball has come to the UK but of course it was originally a sport conceived on these fair isles. Many people mention it’s similarity to Cricket but as a huge fan of Cricket, I can barely find any beyond the fact that both feature bats and balls. If anything I always found Baseball most familiar to Rounders which I played until the age of 11 at school and which is what drew me to Baseball in the first place.
There seems to be documented evidence of the Prince of Wales playing baseball or something very much like it all the way back in 1749 at Walton-On-Thames. Even earlier back there is a print of a child running to first base in 1744 whilst luminaries such as Jane Austen have said to have played the game.
The myth that Baseball having American origins is most likely just that, a myth. Likewise up until the middle of the 18th Century, Cricket was the most popular sport in the United States. It is only now that both sports are being recognised again in both countries.
I find Baseball to be comparable to Twenty20 Cricket (which I hate) or even 1 day cricket though a little less tactical or intricate. I very much like long games, my favourite sport is 5 day cricket matches so 4-5 hours of Baseball is fine. One thing I noticed is that it (and I think NFL too) is not as intense an experience to watch as football or rugby due to the natural breaks and format in the game.
A number of Baseball players were interviewed and they too said nothing quite has the atmosphere of a British football match. However I really liked it and considering the Red Sox were thrashed in both games, it was even better than I hoped it would be. The first game I think both teams were a bit nervous, I read that they were the highest attendances for a ball game for 16 years (I find it hard to believe but it was an American sports report).
It was very different having flags, national anthems and military involvement before the game, the home team being listed last makes no sense to most people about the USA and still doesn’t to me even though I very well know the reason why this is the case!
I liked how friendly the game was both with players and fans and it was a lot more jazzed up than British sports maybe if I can say it, more of a product or experience than an emotional game; all those musical queues and things come over as really corny on TV but fit better in the arena. Just a shame that the Boston pitchers in particular are not on form.
I will definitely go next year to see the next games, even though I have no particular interest in the teams, I just like watching Baseball even as a neutral. I now wish even more that the television games wouldn’t just focus on the pitcher and the batsman with the ‘strike’ square as it’s much more interesting to see the whole field.
All in all, it was a dream come true and I’m a bit sad I have to wait a year to see it live (I’ve watched 3 games on TV since Sunday night so I am a fan) and that I might not see the Red Sox live ever again. I got a Red Sox Baseball cap and my first ever Baseball which is sat on my desk as I speak!
You can see my very slapdash video below!