MLB Postseason 2019: We Play Loud!
With a compelling sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals have earned their first-ever ticket to the final dance. Eyy! As they await the winner of the Houston versus Yankees series, we take a moment to check on the state of America’s pastime. In recent decades, Major League Baseball has struggled with a decline in viewership, often lagging behind other professional counterparts. But over the course of the last few years, there has been a strong shift in the culture of the sport. The rise of Latino ballers has encouraged the MLB to take greater risks. Their latest promotional campaign “We Play Loud”, has dominated the airwaves during the playoffs, and it seems the league is acknowledging its increasingly diverse audience by saying: we see you.
“Baseball has an enormous amount of exciting, young talent that is changing the game one player at a time. The new era is here, but it’s time to make it LOUD and clear: If you’re not paying attention, you’re going to miss it.”Major League Baseball
The commercial opens with vintage footage of a ballpark and a voiceover set to evoke nostalgia for a bygone era. Then, modern stars in full technicolor are superimposed onto the scenes and the soundtrack changes from classical to the smacking beat of the Limonada Coco (Remix) by Musicologo Ft. Lapiz Conciente. The narration becomes defiant, jubilant, and drops Dominican Spanish mid-track. This is an exciting moment in American sports, one that is sharply juxtaposed by the anti-immigrant rhetoric that permeates the political climate.
Sport is powerful in the way it carves out narratives that shed light on popular culture. It can be satisfyingly unifying. It can also highlight where the thickest lines of division exist. With nearly 30% of MLB players being foreign born or from a U.S. territory, it seems the league is on track to continue blurring those lines. Perhaps then greatest legacy of America’s National Pastime will be in how it came to erase borders altogether.
The World Series begins October 22nd. Regardless of which team will be facing off against Gerardo Parra and the Nats, one thing is for certain: there will be dancing.