essays ever written about baseball was penned by Bart Giamatti, the Yale professor-turned-baseball commissioner. At the end of the 1977 season, dreading the long wait until spring, Giamatti said the game of baseball "breaks your heart.
It is designed to break your heart."Any long-suffering fan has learned that wisdom a little too well. But a distinctly 21st-century form of heartbreak has entered the picture for today's fans—center field is now a battlefield in the culture war, and many fans have the distinct feeling that those who run their beloved pastime would really prefer they took their business elsewhere.
Baseball is part of the fabric of American civic life. When it chooses sides on controversial issues, as the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently doing, everyone feels like they just struck out.Starting in Chicago in 2001, LGBT-themed nights at the ballpark have become common throughout the sport (the Texas Rangers remain the only MLB team not not to host one.) In 2021, the San Francisco Giants became the first team to wear Pride-themed logos during a game.
With 81 home games to sell tickets for and the increased use of Pride-themed branding to advertise everything from Oreo cookies to mouthwash, it's no surprise franchises would seek to tap into the trend of "rainbow washing."But inclusion for some has come to mean exclusion for others.