Photo by Eddie Anders

Otterbein student athletes feel like the unwritten rules of baseball are becoming more relevant in the game due to the increasing competitiveness involved. 

The unspoken rules can benefit the players, but it can also hurt them. 

“Personally, I do not see a problem with [unwritten rules],” said junior baseball player Travis Engard. “They sort of work as a checks and balances system for the game.” 

The unwritten rules of baseball involve player safety rules. These can benefit the players and keep them healthy, so they are always requested to be followed. “The rules that stand out to me are the ones that involve player safety,” said Nathan Weita, a sophomore outfielder for Otterbein. “If you are intentionally sliding into a fielder at second base or throwing at a batter’s head, you should feel bad about yourself.” 

          

The rules that Weita mentioned are becoming more a part of the past. Due to athletes being more passionate, these rules are being broken because of their opponents' feelings getting hurt. It seems as though playing hard is getting lost in order to save the reputation of baseball. Would not playing hard make the game less enjoyable to watch though? 

“Baseball is supposed to be played with enthusiasm, energy and effort. If players decide to take plays off, it takes the enjoyment out of competing,” said Jackson Peloquin, a sophomore on Otterbein's baseball team. “I do not understand the want for players to stop playing hard just to protect their opponents’ feelings.” 

During the 2019 season, a slim light of hope came from the Otterbein baseball team during their game against Ohio Wesleyan. With the score being 17-2 in the seventh inning, Otterbein did not act out of character and accepted the game’s fateful decision. They eventually lost 20-4. 

          

“I remember being in the dugout that game,” Engard said. “We were all pretty bummed out because of how the game was going, but none of us considered acting out of character and hurting the reputation of the team.” 

That Otterbein baseball game demonstrates that the unwritten rules can be followed when the game is not in your favor. Maybe, just maybe, the unwritten rules of the game can be followed and give the sports world a glimpse of why this is America’s pastime.