Argumentative Essay On Baseball And Gambling

1573 Words 7 Pages
Baseball and gambling have been corresponding with each other ever since the late 19th Century. For the most part, the relationship would be best described as a commensalism one where baseball was solely changed while gambling maintained its status. Eric Rolfe Greenburg, author of The Celebrant, does a great job in portraying this relationship early on. After analyzing the association of the two in the novel, it is clearly seen that gambling has helped raise the popularity of baseball, affect the quality of the sport, and changed how society views the game. In the beginning of its time, baseball had a negative perspective on upper class business men who would not associate with it. Many considered baseball as a child’s sport rather than …show more content…
Even though it may have helped baseball’s reputation for the better, gambling crippled the worth of the game. As popularity increased, so did the wagers. Greenburg allows the readers to understand how much gambling affected the sport by his character Eli. He started off baseball gambling by placing small bets on games or plays. Soon, Eli realizes how much money is able to be made and starts betting more and more. In the beginning of the second chapter, Eli explains how he was able to make enough money off of gambling from the last baseball season to buy a brand new Daimler automobile (Greenburg 55). Eli repeatedly earns a second salary and continues to gamble on baseball by steadily increasing his wagers and even comments to Jackie, “ Since they closed the tracks there’s a lot of dumb money afloat at the ballparks” (Greenburg 217). Eli wouldn’t necessarily represent all of society by his gambling, because most people would not be able to afford how much Eli wagered, but Eli does represent the growth of gambling throughout baseball. Along with Eli, more people became aware of how much money is affiliated with baseball gambling. Hal Chase, a ball player, even comments, “Well, that’s when I saw my way clear. I’m a professional ballplayer. I do it for money, and if there’s more money in losing than in winning, shit if I care” (Greenburg 172). Players started to throw games because they discover they …show more content…
The once refreshingly American game is now dishonest and corrupted. The quality of the game diminished not only because players threw games, but also because fans became less interested. Jackie, a fan that has devoted his lifetime to the New York Giants, was now rarely attending games. Although it is not directly stated, it could be implied that Jackie does not enjoy baseball as much because of his brother’s gambling addiction. Jackie compares the sport to his own religion and considers the stadium to be his temple. Jackie is a celebrant to players and respects the sport until Eli invades Jackie’s temple with sin; gambling. After this, Jackie’s actions start to imply that he depreciates the sport “I was generous with my World’s Series tickets; anyone who asked could have them” (Greenburg 173). Before gambling tainted baseball, Jackie would not have been so kind about his World Series tickets, and instead would have attended every game. It is not only current fans that became disinterested in baseball, the next generation of kids are not involved in the sport as much as the generation before them. Towards the end of the novel when Christy and Jackie were talking in the hotel room, Jackie mentions that his son is more interested in the war and soldiers than baseball and ball players. They also talk about how their kids will still enjoy baseball throughout their lifetime but not as intensely as Jackie

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