It’s impossible to discuss the economics of Major League Baseball without discussing the “major market” and “small market” divide so eloquently illustrated in the movie “Moneyball.” Yet even the smallest of markets today is exponentially larger than the hundreds of small towns where baseball developed in its early decades.
A nice perspective on baseball’s rural roots can be found in this short podcast featuring David Vaught of Texas A&M. He makes an arresting point right from the start: baseball fans hesitate not a moment to send a $20 bill down the line to a hotdog vendor, and there’s never any doubt that the proper change will work its way back to the purchaser.
Would that happen on the streets of the Bronx outside Yankee Stadium or outside U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago? Not likely. But inside, it’s a safe environment, physically and psychologically. May it stay that way forever.