I have been a fan of Major League Baseball for many years. I usually take the sport for granted. However, the holiday season has put me in a reflective mood. As I prepare for Thanksgiving, I realize that I have a lot to be thankful for as a MLB fan.
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1. Labor Peace: I am thankful that Major League Baseball has not suffered a work stoppage since 1994-1995. I am glad that MLB owners and the MLB Players Association have an agreement in place that runs through the 2016 season. I do not want to endure a summer without Major League Baseball.
2. The Atlanta Braves: I am glad that there is a MLB team in Atlanta, Ga. It gives me the opportunity to root for a baseball team, located in the southeastern U.S., which is less than an eight-hour drive from my hometown.
3. Minor League System: I am glad that Major League Baseball has a minor league system. It gives people like me, who live in small cities, a chance to attend professional baseball games.
4. World Series Tradition: I am thankful to the MLB owners who, in 1903, decided the sport needed a championship game. As a MLB fan, I can ruminate on the World Series' long, storied past, while at the same time looking forward to the 2013 Series.
5. Baseball Cards: I am grateful to Major League Baseball for allowing companies to manufacture baseball cards. I loved to collect baseball cards when I was a youth. I would get excited each time I purchased a new package of cards. I could not wait to get home and see which players I had obtained.
6. Baseball is a Summer Sport: I am thankful that Major League Baseball begins in the spring and not in the fall. During my teenage years, I got the chance to spend my summer nights watching baseball games on television with my father. We could not have shared as much time together in this way if most of the MLB games were played during the school year.
7. The Boston Red Sox: I am glad that the Boston Red Sox are a MLB team. Otherwise, I would have to find a new team to dislike.
8. Hall of Fame: I love going to museums. I hope to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., at some point in the future. I am glad that it exists.
9. Stats: I am thankful that Major League Baseball contains so many different types of statistics. I can peruse stats for pitchers, batters, runners, fielders, and even managers. As a history buff, I am truly grateful that I can look up stats for MLB games that occurred decades ago.
10. A Break: While I enjoy watching Major League Baseball games and following the sport in the news, I am glad that the MLB regular season is only 162 games. I would suffer fan burnout if the season were any longer.
The author lives in Richmond, Va. He has followed Major League Baseball for many years and is a fan of the Atlanta Braves.
-- Anthony Hopper
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