baseball by August Prum June 15, 2017
Major League Baseball, once by far the most popular sports league in America, has lost basically an entire age bracket of fans over the past couple decades.
Whether it’s because of the pace of the game, the lack of star power, the lack of African-American players, or because they’re not ‘roided up anymore, baseball risks becoming a niche sport as fans flock to basketball and football.
With this in mind, MLB has tried to look for solutions to make the game more palatable to a younger, more diverse audience.
They’re apparently looking into ways to speed up “pace of play,” trying very hard to market their stars, and starting new initiatives to reach kids who don’t have access to baseball.
The latest attempt to try and reign in some new fans, and allow players to express themselves on the field, is a “Players’ Weekend” in late August in which players can wear jerseys with their nicknames on the back and different colored cleats.
Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan first reported on the Players’ Weekend, writing,
“Major League Baseball will relax its uniform rules for a weekend later this season, allowing players to put nicknames on the back of their jerseys, wear fluorescent-colored shoes and personalize a patch paying tribute to someone instrumental in their development.”
Depending on your general outlook on things, this is either a fun, exciting way for MLB to relax its own rules that are essentially pointless and prevent player individuality, or a cynical attempt to make more money off one-off jerseys.
The answer is probably somewhere in the middle, but I suppose it’s promising that MLB is trying to look for alternative ways to market their slightly stale product.
All I really do know is that one of the dudes better put “HE HATE ME” on the back of a jersey.