Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was born and raised in Brooklyn. A big Dodgers fan, Sanders was 16 years-old when they left town for Los Angeles. According to this story by Les Carpenter in The Guardian, that move played a large role in shaping Sanders’ view of businesses and, in turn, his politics.
Specifically he, like most kids, thought that the local professional sports team in some way belonged to Brooklyn. When they moved it dawned on him that sports teams are just businesses and that businesses serve their own interests and, as the story argues, set Sanders on the political course his continues to sail.
The fact that businesses serve their own interests is something most adults know, of course. It’s amazing to me, though — and very convenient for the owners of sports franchises — that so many adults refuse to see sports teams and leagues as the same as every other business, but I suppose that’s a conversation for another time.
The article goes on to talk more about Sanders’ relationship with baseball over the years, first as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, trying to woo minor league teams to his town. His first effort was to try to get the city to buy a team and sell shares of it to citizens so it could be publicly owned. That didn’t work out but, eventually, some minor league teams came to Burlington. The article also talks about how he was on the committee that hauled in Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire and everyone in front of them for some steroids grandstanding back in 2005. Sanders, some of you may recall, gave a little speech about how big a waste of time it was and how Congress should be doing more important things.
I still haven’t made up my mind about Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate, but I think he and I would see eye-to-eye when it comes to baseball.