Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier on this day in 1947, and his impact to the game has been felt ever since.
There will be many Jackie Robinson articles published on Wednesday, and we suggest you read as many as you can get your hands on.
Until then, here are 42 reasons why Major League Baseball is the best sport in the world.
1. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
There aren’t that many sports that have a designated song. A theme perhaps, but a song that gets stuck in your head? Not too many.
Not only are they the best looking uniforms out there, but they haven’t changed much over time, which is pretty awesome. Even now, they pay homage to the old school uniforms and the history of this great game.
3. Sunflower seeds
You think steroids are bad? Try telling a baseball player he has had enough sunflower seeds. Good luck trying to pry those babies from his hands.
4. Web-gem catches
Basically everything Mike Trout does.
5. Mike Trout
6. The smell of leather
It sounds kinky but it’s not. Okay, so it’s a little kinky. But give it a try.
7. The sounds of cleats on concrete
That’s what 50 Shades of Grey is actually about. It’s pretty sexy.
8. It’s the only sport that the coaches are required to wear the uniforms
Have you ever seen Phil Jackson on the sidelines sporting basketball shorts and a jersey? No, you haven’t.
9. The weather
You can get all four seasons in one baseball season. It’s snowing one day at Wrigley Field. Then, the next day in Arizona, you are watching Diamondbacks fans in t-shirts and flip flops begging for water.
10. It’s called “America’s Favorite Pastime”
Not only is that a damn good nickname, but it’s difficult to compete with that.
11. Tipping your cap shows a sign of respect
Derek Jeter did is numerous times on his “Farewell Captain” tour last season, and you got chills every time.
12. The Home Run Derby
It’s kind of slow, but you manage to watch every minute of it. Plus, they get to choose their own pitcher. None of them choose Clayton Kershaw.
13. Clayton Kershaw
There are few times there is a pitcher that you will wholeheartedly argue that deserves both a Cy Young as well as an MVP award. He does it.
14. There aren’t any cheerleaders
And if there are, we ignore them anyways.
15. The wives and girlfriends
Have you seen Amanda McCarthy? It’s not even fair.
16. The beards
Thanks to the Boston Red Sox, the beards became a phenomenon that has swept the country. We never figured out who had the best one.
17. The first-pitches
Some are pretty awesome, and some are 50 Cent.
18. The bat flips
19. The home run competitions
Back when everyone was doing steroids, this was the highlight of my season. The Sammy Sosa vs. Mark McGwire changed my life.
20. Jackie Robinson
Without him, there’s no telling where baseball would be at today.
21. The Hall of Fame
The Baseball Hall of Fame is one of the most controversial spectacles in professional sports. The debate of whether Barry Bonds or Pete Rose should be voted in will last forever. And it will continue annoy us in all its glory.
22. The fields
The lines of a field are so beautiful, it would make a barber jealous. You put an American Flag on top of it, and you have yourself a baseball fan’s wet dream.
23. The food
Nachos deep fried in hot dog grease and topped with apple pie and lemonade was worth every tummy ache.
24. Walk-up music
Metallica’s Enter Sandman will never be the same thanks to Mariano Rivera.
25. The speeches
Some of the best speeches have been given in baseball. The Ted Williams speech. Lou Gehrig’s emotional goodbye. Anything that Yogi Berra said. They will all go down in history as some of the best words ever spoken.
Ladies, Brad Pitt and baseball. You’re welcome. And Jonah Hill didn’t look too bad either.
27. Vin Scully
I want him to officiate my wedding, talk me through giving birth, and narrate my eulogy. His voice is the best voice in baseball, and possibly all of sports.
28. Babe Ruth
“The Great Bambino,” “The Sultan of Swat…” The guy is a legend whether you know baseball or not. His face is plastered all over baseball. And thanks to a special movie “The Sandlot,” we no longer now know him as “The Great Bambi.”
29. “The Sandlot”
If you don’t like this movie, you’re not normal. Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez was your biggest crush growing up. At least for the ladies. Even if he wasn’t, you either wanted to be with him, or be him.
30. The high socks
Or thanks to Pedro Martinez, the low socks. Either way, there’s something about the guy who wears his socks up that makes you feel all warm inside.
31. Walk-off pies
Some with shaving cream. Others are real pies. It’s as American as baseball itself.
There is something so beautiful about fireworks after a baseball game. You sit on the cool, damp grass, you look up, and there are big bursts of light. Absolutely stunning.
33. Foul Balls
You have to love seeing awesome plays by fans determined to get a foul ball hit off the tip of Giancarlo Stanton’s bat.
In football, you throw a flag when you have a problem with a call. In baseball, the manager will run out and get in the umpire’s face.
35. No-hitters and perfect games
Whether you jinx them or not, they’re amazing to witness.
36. It’s compared to sex
You get to first base. And if you’re really lucky, you can score a home run. That’s not a coincidence people.
37. Bubble gum
Blowing bubble gum bubbles and baseball go together like mac and cheese.
38. Double plays
Very few things are sexier than a double play.
39. Your first baseball game
Your dad took you. Your hat was too big to fit over your head, and you probably received a bit of a sunburn. But it was awesome and you cannot wait to take your children to their first game.
40. The fans
Baseball fans are special. They are unique. Not everyone can deal with the roller coaster of emotions a baseball game can give you.
41. The History
Just watch Ken Burns Baseball, and you’ll know what we are talking about. More so than any other sport, baseball has overlapped with the history of this nation. It’s stood the test of time. It’s been there for us during good times and bad. It is embedded within the American identity.
42. Jackie Robinson
Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
Photo: USA Today Images