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America's Pastime: College Baseball

John MeadusCorrespondent IApril 15, 2008

It's April. Football season has been over for two months, and won't start up again for another four or five months. Basketball and hockey are both ending their regular seasons and beginning their playoffs.

It is baseball season, but not just for professional baseball! Not just the guys who get paid millions of dollars to sit on the bench with a sore pinky toe. Not just the guys who don't run out ground balls or pop-ups to the infield. I am talking about the kids who may not make it to the next level, but still put out more effort and hustle than the "pros" do. I am talking about college baseball. 

Everyone loves college football because of all the big crowds, and the atmosphere in huge stadiums across the country. The same goes for college basketball: guys running up and down the court, diving on the floor for loose balls and taking charges. These are the things that professional games lack these days, which makes some people enjoy college sports more than professional sports.

What is so different about college baseball?

I really don't think college baseball gets the kind of recognition that it deserves. It has all the passion and desire that the professional game has and more. You can just see the desire in players' faces when they play, because for most, this is their last chance to play this game in such a highly competitive way. You can see these kids dive all over the field, not because they're getting paid to, but because they are having fun and playing out of love for the game.

I am a college baseball player, myself, and I believe that there should be more college baseball games on television for people to see. I think that college baseball is always exciting to watch, because even a five-run lead is not safe when hitters are using aluminum bats. While it's true that ESPN shows the College World Series, there are plenty of other games out there during the regular season to watch. For example, take when Florida State plays Florida, or UCLA plays Arizona State.

The College World Series is great, because you can see all the emotion that goes into the game. For the winners and even the losers, all their pent-up emotions come out  after the games, and even on the field during play. It's tough to say that about the Majors these days.

I don't think that, watching on TV, you can say that every player gives 100 percent every game. They do play three times as many games as college kids do, but it makes no difference to me. College baseball players always play hard, and when they get to the College World Series and are on TV for once, they play even harder, which makes it great to watch.

I am not advocating putting college baseball games on ESPN in place of MLB games, but when I am going through the channels and I get to ESPN2, I see drag racing on for three hours.

Maybe, instead of televising one of the least popular sports in America, they could show a college baseball game every once in a while.

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