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Sporting life: the decline of baseball

Baseball is declining in popularity in the US. So why are the sport’s bigwigs alienating the Latino fans and players on which it depends?

Once upon a time in America, cricket was as popular as baseball. In the 19th century, British immigrants brought bat and ball games to the east coast. There the rules of baseball were first formalised, and in the 1860s the game was carried to the furthest corners of the nation by the Union army. Baseball, which was more socially open and populist than cricket, rapidly trounced its competitor and, in the decades after the civil war, took on the status of the national game. Since then, the sport has served as a metaphor for America in innumerable ways—perhaps most powerfully…

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