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MLB’s nickname gimmick won’t solve baseball’s mounting age issues

Baseball players will get to wear nicknames on their jerseys for one weekend in a play for the youth market, but the sport’s demographic issues run deeper

Baseball has a problem. Apparently it is no longer interesting to young people. More specifically, it appeals more to those beyond a serviceable demographic deemed exciting to advertisers. According to data complied by three media organizations the average age of those who watch baseball games is 57 and that number is rapidly moving into early-bird buffet territory. The same study showed only 7% of those watching baseball are under 18.

This is undoubtedly why Major League Baseball soon will dress their teams for three games in jerseys that look like soccer tops with each player’s nickname on the back. In a reach to come off as young, baseball has gone the route of Brazilian football or every color-coordinated Sunday softball team with a portable beer cooler. It may also lead to some awkward pairings on the field say with Yankees third baseman Todd ‘Toddfather’ Frazier and teammate Aaron ‘All Rise’ Judge.

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