Posted April 8, 2016
OK, who you got? Who’s your team – the World Series Champion Royals? The Mets? The long-suffering Cubs? Nearly everywhere in the USA, baseball’s new season represents a rite of spring. It’s a celebration – evident in scenes from the Washington Nationals’ home opener against the Miami Marlins (h/t to local Nats fan Jeremy Art ).
Baseball is heroes past and present. It’s Ruth, Aaron and Trout. It’s traditions like Opening Day and the Fall Classic, which bookend America’s unique, spring/summer/fall sports odyssey. It’s the exception among other major sports, whose pulse is dictated by the time remaining on a clock. In that way (and others) baseball truly is timeless.
Like nearly every other facet of American life, baseball runs on energy. Not the stuff that keeps Bryce Harper’s motor running. Energy that illuminates stadiums, runs concessions and delivers fans and players to the ballparks. Playing its role in the energy mix for our National Pastime – oil and natural gas. Just a few examples:
- Lights, Action! – It can take more than 30 million kWh to power a single Major League Baseball stadium for a season – or more than 3,000 average U.S. homes use in a year. Power generation, as we’ve mentioned before in this series, is increasingly being fueled by clean-burning natural gas. (Did you know: Baseball’s first night game was played in 1935 between the Reds and Phillies at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, with President Franklin Roosevelt throwing the light switch at the White House, 600 miles away.)
- Uniforms – Every major leaguer today is mighty glad the modern unis they wear are made of polyester, a synthetic fiber derived in part from petroleum. Back in the day, ballplayers did their thing clothed in wool. Here’s a video by the Majestic company on the uniform-making process.
- Travel – According to baseballsavant.com, Major League teams will log nearly 10 million miles traveling from venue to venue in 2016, usually on chartered aircraft that can carry about 6,400 gallons of jet fuel (made from oil):
Also according to baseballsavant.com, here's where the Nationals are going in 2016:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.