Seats were packed with kids, parents and grandparents cheering on their favorite teams.
Those were the days.
In contrast, tune in to watch your favorite team on a weekday afternoon in the early part of the season, and the stands are nearly empty. Kids are still in school and parents are tied up at work.
How does this make economic sense for Major League Baseball? With so many players making millions of dollars per season, how can team owners afford to play games in front of so many empty seats?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to skip the afternoon games in the early part of the season, at least until school is out for the summer, and add doubleheaders back into the schedule?
Fans would fill the seats, and more merchandise and concessions would be purchased. It certainly seems like a win-win for everyone.
How can that be a bad thing?
Well, there are agents these days, and many feel these high-priced money-mongers are to blame for the discontinuation of doubleheaders. Why? Concern about the strain on their high-priced clients.
So, it’s about the athlete and not the customer? That makes no sense, either.
For the players, baseball is now a year-round job. Off-season conditioning programs allow athletes to get their bodies in better shape than ever.
It’s not like playing two games in an afternoon is a threat for injury. Years ago, day-night doubleheaders were commonplace, and the athletes made it through those contests just fine.
Plus, playing when temperatures are often barely above the freezing mark in the early part of the season isn’t exactly the best for injury prevention.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodgers played 17 doubleheaders. In comparison, the Colorado Rockies have played 43 twin bills in their 21 years of existence.
The point is, America needs its pastime more than ever. For baseball fans, is there a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than at the ballpark with your family, soaking up some sun, eating a couple of hot dogs with stadium mustard and enjoying a cold beverage?
We think not, and we hope that the powers that be in Major League Baseball come to realize that, too.
In the words of the great Ernie Banks, “It’s a great day for a ball game. Let’s play two!”
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.