CHICAGO—With the Olympics starting in two weeks, the absence of baseball from the Rio Games was felt by the young men playing in Under Armour’s All-America Baseball Game. They think baseball is a perfect fit for the Olympics.
“Here are so many countries and continents around the world that play baseball, and baseball’s such a popular sport. It’s an American sport, it was made in America, but you’ve got countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea, I’m sure there’s 50 more. All those countries love baseball,” Sam Praytor said. “Isn’t that what the Olympics is about?”
Baseball was dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 Games. There are discussion for bringing the sport back for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as baseball is quite popular in Japan.
“Baseball’s a pretty hard sport. People who don’t play the sport don’t think so, but if you’ve ever played it, you know how hard it is to hit a ball that’s coming at you at 95 mph,” said Jack Conlon.
For now, the Under Armour All-Americans won’t be able to join the ranks of Olympic gold medalists Alexei Ramirez, Roy Oswalt and Ben Sheets. But if not baseball, they do have ideas for the other Olympic sports they would excel in.
“Ping-pong!” Praytor said. Table tennis is one of the few sports the U.S. has not won a medal in. “I’m solid, but I can work at it.”
Hagen Danner is a California beach boy, and as such, would want to swim. For Texan Alex Scherff, a winter sport could be the right fit.
“It just looks interesting and I think I could be pretty good at it,” he said.
Conlon wants to try diving, mostly for the uniform.
“I’m pretty agile, and I think I’d look good in a Speedo.”