When better to focus on America’s National Pastime than the day that Minnesota shatters its February record for snowfall? Yes, it’s our spring training episode of The 252!
• Chris Moore suggested some ways that baseball is both shaped by politics and helps us to think about politics.
• Then we discussed who belongs on a Mount Rushmore of baseball history: the four people who did the most to shape the development of my favorite sport. In the process, we touched on the integration of African-American and Latino players into Major League Baseball, the development of free agency and unionization, how nostalgia colors our memory of the sport, and even how analytics and steroids have reshaped the most recent form of the game.
From a field of thirty-some players, executives, and others, we came up with a ballot of ten finalists. Listen to our analysis, then vote for your four choices in the poll below. We’ll announce the results next week.
• In other news… we talked about the potential for spring football leagues like the Alliance of American Football (and, coming next year, version 2.0 of the XFL and a new player-led Freedom Football League) to complement or supplant the NFL or college football.
• But we also asked whether it was even ethical to watch a sport that’s been linked to such debilitating effects on players’ health.