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What Sport Sounds Better On The Radio Than Baseball? Well . . .

Posted by: Jon Fine on July 8, 2008

BusinessWeek skips an issue around the 4th of July, which is why things have been verrrrrry quiet around here lately.

That and seasonal indolence, this being summertime in the great Northeast. I was actually born in Texas, as anyone who talks to me notices immediately. (Or not.) But I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey. And there is a certain ambient hum I associate with the summer evenings ‘round these parts—light breezes shushing through leafy trees, crickets, and, somewhere off in the distance, a radio tuned low to a baseball game.

I am not much of a sports sentimentalist--not much of a sports fan at all, these days. But the sound of baseball on the radio—-and the way its drawn out rhythms echo those of this season itself--is so inextricably part of my summertime sense-memory that I assumed that far baseball has to be the most popular sport on radio. By far.

This is the danger of drawing assumptions from one's own personal experience. Because it ain’t so. The following bit comes from a survey that hit the inbox today, which was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for a radio trade group--a poll presumably conducted during baseball season at that:

Three out of four Americans (75%) say they have a favorite sport to listen to on the radio. Among them, 30 percent say they prefer football, while 25 percent choose baseball.

I know, I know, football long ago eclipsed baseball as the nation’s most popular sport. But, man. If baseball can’t even beat football on radio, there’s no place it can win.

Reader Comments

J.H. Frederickson

July 8, 2008 5:41 PM

Baseball is the soundtrack of summer. I'm an XM satellite radio subscriber and can hear all MLB games in real time or record them on one of the three radios I have. Will probably load up the recordings in August to make it through fall and winter. Yes, doctor, it appears to be some kind of addiction.


July 9, 2008 9:42 AM

The corporatization of professional football from what, as late as the 1950s, was primarily a college game, has not done wonders for American culture. The only people I know who don't yearn for the elegance of wiry and fast baseball players in the face of steroid quasi-human behemoths are people I don't want to be friends with.

Alex Gordon

July 9, 2008 11:09 AM

Even if 5% more prefer football, there aren't that many games to listen to. What I love about baseball is that there's (almost) always a good game to watch/listen to whenever and wherever you are.

Peter Daly

April 1, 2009 2:31 PM

Does anybody remember that Kirby Puckett played with a toothpick in his mouth? He abandoned it after realizing, or being told, that it was a poor role model image he was displaying to his younger fans.

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