With basketball season wrapped up in Central New York, it's time to turn the page to spring. Warmer weather, the end of snow (hopefully), an annual run to the postseason by the Syracuse lacrosse programs, and a long season of Major League Baseball to keep us occupied and carry us in to football season. We learned Monday that "Syracuse Day" is coming to Yankee Stadium on June 25th, and it got me thinking the same thought that comes up every year at this time:
Would Syracuse be able to successfully revive it's baseball program if it wanted to?
Syracuse is the only member of the ACC without a baseball program. The conference has a rich tradition in baseball with Top 25 teams and national championship contenders every season. Stadiums are fairly inexpensive in comparison to the stadiums of other sports, and Central New York has produced both Division 1 and professional baseball players in the past.
So why not bring major college baseball to Syracuse? Is it feasible?
If the prospect of seeing a Syracuse Orange baseball game gets you excited, put your rally caps on because it will forever be a long shot for three main reasons:
- Title IX. This is the main reason the baseball team was discontinued in 1972 following the law's passing. Baseball in Syracuse was an unfortunate casualty of a necessary and good law, and turned in to an afterthought due to an inability to train in the cold Syracuse off-season. If Syracuse were to ever seriously consider bringing baseball back, the University would have to start shifting or eliminating other sports.
- Fan support. From a sporting perspective, Syracuse University has two perennial national championship contenders in it's lacrosse programs. From a recreational perspective, Syracuse has about four months out of the year where the weather is nice enough to be enjoyable outside. Throw in the local professional baseball team that is the Syracuse Chiefs, and the competition to a Syracuse Orange baseball program completely dilutes the fan support. I personally believe Syracuse University would outdraw any baseball team in Syracuse, but that isn't saying much considering the baseball attendance in this city is dismal.
- If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Syracuse Athletics are arguably the healthiest they've ever been. Syracuse is coming off of Final Fours in multiple sports and things are looking as orange as ever. Why tinker with the potential of moving and shifting things around when things are going as well as they are?
While the thought of Syracuse bringing back the baseball program is purely speculative in nature, it's a topic that gets mentioned at least once a spring. While having an ACC baseball program to root for would be fantastic, it's about as likely of actually happening as a Georgetown basketball team making it out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament... Highly improbable.