Columns » Kenneth Cleaver

Kenneth Cleaver

Consumer Correspondent

Kenneth H. Cleaver

P.O. Box 1034

Colorado Springs, CO 80901

July 9. 2004

Mr. Allan H. Selig

Office of the Commissioner of Baseball 245 Park Avenue New York, NY 10167

Dear Mr. Selig:

A professional baseball game is one of the few places in American life where it is acceptable to insult multimillionaires.

* While the game is amusing, I appreciate the class warfare surrogate infinitely more than watching men run around a square.

I can't help but see the sport as a tragic paradox of our meritocracy. For all your talent and hard work, you arrive in the big leagues to find any given crowd of 40,000 only too happy to remind you that, in fact, you suck! should you strike out or miss a tag.

I'm sharing this because, well, I'm a little lonely, but also because I don't think this part of the game is celebrated enough. Here in Colorado, I attend Rockies games where fans show all the enthusiasm of a graveyard shift convenience store clerk. I've seen rowdier crowds at plenary sessions of the Democratic Leadership Council!

There was a time when baseball fans were so rowdy that they thoroughly appalled the gentry. In the early 20th century, ballgames were places deemed unfit to take a lady. I'm not suggesting we rewind the clock that far, but fans have clearly lost their edge.

Do you think there's a correlation between a stadium's overall cleanliness, the availability of microbrews and low-fat snacks, and a passionate fan culture? I'd like to know.


Kenneth Cleaver

* And their mothers.

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