When Babe Ruth became the first player to hit 500 homeruns at Cleveland’s League Park 80 years ago, it was just another day at the office for the oft-smashing Bambino. But for baseball-crazy America, it was ballpark magic. Eight decades later, baseball isn’t doing quite as well. Audiences have declined this season, and while economic woes are partially to blame, there’s also a lack of compelling stories this season; no Barry Bonds controversy, no risen-from-the-ashes Devil Rays, no slugger seeking admittance to the 500 club. But going into the stretch, the tide is turning; division races are white hot in both the NL Central and the AL West, and Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle scored a congratulatory phone call from First Fan Barack Obama after pitching a perfect game a few weeks back. If that’s not a ringing fan endorsement, we don’t know what is.
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