With riveting series, is baseball returning as America’s game?

As Nolan Finley stated in a column with The Detroit News — baseball is making a comeback as America’s National Pastime.

Game 6 of the World Series continued the strong numbers on Fox, according to Nielsen overnight data. An article by Joe Otterson states the game is currently averaging 18.9 million viewers — on par with the previous high for this year’s Series set by Game 5, which ultimately drew a 5.3 and 18.9 million viewers on Sunday. Why? Let us count the ways.

This year was the first time since 1970 that two 100-win teams have met in the World Series (Houston had 101 wins, Los Angeles had 104), and the first time since 1931 that two 100-win teams brought the series to a winner-take-all Game 7.

“I don’t think anybody here is shocked that it’s going to Game 7,” Houston ace Justin Verlander and former Detroit Tiger told the Associated Press after Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss at Dodger Stadium.

Verlander brought a lot of interest to this World Series. After being shipped to Houston just before the trade deadline, he appeared to be a man possessed, pitching at the top of his game. His first loss in an Astros uniform came on Tuesday night after posting 10 straight wins.

Prior to this year, the Astros had only played in one World Series since the team entered Major League Baseball in 1962, getting swept in 2005 against the Chicago White Sox.

The Dodgers have won six World Series titles in 19 appearances, but they’ve been in a drought since 1988. Sure, it’s not a 108-year drought like we saw with the Chicago Cubs last year — but, it’s been a while.

However, at least Chicago had a previous title, even if most fans aren’t even close to old enough to remember it. Astros fans have been waiting for this day a long time, and it has finally arrived.

Congratulations to Houston fans — and to a city who so badly needed something like this. Congratulations to Verlander as well, for finally getting a chance to win the Series.

With the seemingly never-ending flow of problems in today’s world, it’s nice to have something that gives us a little excitement — and this year’s World Series certainly did just that.

After all, that’s probably why baseball became America’s National Pastime in the first place.