The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

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An Excuse for Losers or a Fact of Baseball? Home Field Advantage

An+Excuse+for+Losers+or+a+Fact+of+Baseball%3F+Home+Field+Advantage

It was an average Tuesday evening in late October, the weather was nice with a high of 64° and young children were excitedly planning their Halloween costumes to trick-or-treat. More importantly, Philadelphia Phillies fans were anticipating a thrilling game against the Diamondbacks, the Phillies’ first game 7 in their long history of over a century. All the cards would be played so that the Phillies could get the victory they needed to advance to the World Series, the championship of Major League Baseball. If not winners, the Phillies would be finished for the season, not being able to get their long-awaited World Series win after losing

to the Houston Astros last year. Going into game 7, after two losses in Arizona and one in Philadelphia, Phillies fans had faith as their players would be facing off against the Diamondbacks on their home field, the Citizens Bank Park. Unfortunately, the high hopes of Phillies Phanatics were crushed on October 24th. Tragedy struck as the Phillies ended their season losing 4-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in game 7 of the National League Championship Series. Philadelphia was left in despair and frustration after being so close to becoming champions. Not only did the Phillies lose, they lost on their home field. This poses the question: Does home-field advantage matter in Major League Baseball?

 

Statistically, the evidence suggests it does matter. According to InterWorks, the home team is victorious in approximately 54% of games. However, by listening to baseball players and fans we can dive deeper into this grueling question. Sloan Makoujy ’26, a student who played on the WFS baseball team last year says, “Obviously you have the advantage of your crowd. The connections you have when playing at home mean more than playing away.” Many agree that psychologically players benefit by having a louder, larger fanbase in the crowd cheering them on. On the other hand, when asked about the effect the home field has on a player’s mindset, Jonathan Huxtable, baseball coach at WFS said, “Regarding a player’s mental approach to the game I don’t think there’s any difference.”  Though he also added that from a coaching perspective, “It’s interesting. Knowing that you are the home team changes how you approach the game. It can often change how you approach your pitching, how you approach the plate.”  Overall, opinions vary depending on one’s perspective. Coaches and players can see the game differently. Each individual on a team has a unique experience in high school baseball and sports in general.

 

As a school community, feeling supported and safe is important to foster a positive environment, which can transfer into each student’s personal experience as an athlete. Matthew Gordon ’27 said, “The atmosphere affects the playing a lot but it also depends on the player. Some people play better on the road but I think most players play better at home because they feel more supportive. Knowing most of the people who are watching the game are there to watch you and your team win helps with confidence.” Each player must be able to feel self-assured during sports, which is heavily influenced by those around them. Matthew also spoke about his experience as a crowd member in an MLB game stating that, “ I went to a Phillies vs Marlins game a long time ago…The crowd was extremely into the game…I remember the Marlins were throwing awful pitches especially when the crowd was cheering and making chants. The Phillies won by over 10 runs and I think a lot of it was how much the crowd cared about the game.” It seems as though having an enthusiastic, excited crowd actively cheering on the team is important in baseball. A good crowd can show unity, and spirit and bring a new energy to the players during times of desperation. Meanwhile, a dead crowd might make the games feel long and exhausting.

 

Home field advantage is a heavily debated topic, especially in a sport like baseball where each game can be hours long with score changes that can happen in an instant. Considering aspects like a player’s mental state, coaching strategies, and overall crowd energy, it can be difficult to determine how important home-field advantage truly is, even though more teams do win at home than away statistically in Major League Baseball. Despite home-field victories being a common trend in baseball, there are even situations where teams will do great away from home and then struggle in their home field in Major League Baseball. Just like in this past baseball season, when the Philadelphia Phillies had a 13-game long winning streak on the road and then lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks in their home field in Philadelphia. It is easy to question how important home-field advantage is in baseball though one thing is for certain: For a team to win the World Series, they almost always need to be able to win games, not just home, but away. The players need to be able to play each inning with solid pitches, runs, and few errors no matter their location. If they lose, blaming their playing on a lack of home-field advantage will not get their team very far.

 

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About the Contributor
Scarlett Murphy, Staff Writer
Scarlett Murphy is a new member of the Whittier Miscellany who is currently beginning her first year as a writer. Scarlett enjoys writing about current events in the Whittier and also loves creative writing using her own characters. Scarlett believes that writing is powerful and that words can be used to motivate, inspire, and educate others which prompted her to join Whittier. Scarlett likes to write as a way to advocate for herself, voice her opinions, and express her emotions. Outside of writing, Scarlett loves to read and Irish dance.

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