Spring is upon us. And spring is like a starter pistol for the annual sale of 72 million major league baseball tickets all across America Plus ("America Plus" is our fun brand name idea for The United States + Toronto). Whether or not you like baseball, you know it's been the United States's national obsession for over a century. But what if we told you baseball is ALSO a fascinating Rosetta Stone-like guide to a slew of bizarre truths about America? And what if we told you those truths might blow your mind EVEN MORE if you DON'T follow the game?

On this week's episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedian/writer/TV show creator Rhea Butcher and Cracked editor Dan Hopper for a deep dive into American culture, economics, morality, and awesomeness, all through the surprisingly revealing lens of Major League Baseball. They'll tackle the racist 20th century cartoon that 21st century kids love. They'll reveal how your tax dollars go into your nearest big city rich guy's pocket, thanks to Congress's ongoing bipartisan support. And they'll rolodex the drugs, imperialism, sausage races, and goofy scooters that make America's pastime as uniquely baffling as America itself.

Footnotes:

Rhea Butcher's "Close To Home" Tour

Three Swings Podcast

The Only Pittsburgh Sports Podcast

Cleveland Indians logos over time (SportsLogos.net)

Indians will continue to sell Chief Wahoo merchandise (Chicago Sun-Times)

Everything You Know About the Confederate Flag is Wrong (Cracked)

Latino Players Blurred MLB's Color Line Before Robinson's Debut (WBUR)

The declining number of black baseball players is a huge problem (Over The Monster)

"Left Out" by Andrew McCutchen (The Players Tribune)

Speed Hurts: Jeff Passan Talks About Baseball's Arm Troubles (The New York Times)

How Curt Flood Changed Baseball and Killed His Career in the Process (The Atlantic)

The Hot Stove And The Triumph Of Shamelessness (Deadspin)

Savvy or collusion? Why baseball's free-agent market has turned ice-cold (The Economist)

The Cruel Bill Allowing MLB To Keep Screwing Over Minor-Leaguers Is Now Law (Deadspin)

Forbes MLB Valuations List

George Steinbrenner, Who Built Yankees Into Powerhouse, Dies at 80 (The New York Times)

Finley Sells Oakland A's (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

Hillsborough County considering $500 million in tax hikes to fund new Rays stadium (Field Of Schemes)

5 Reasons Steroids Were Never the Real Problem in Baseball (Cracked)

Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa as Olympian god Sportsmen Of The Year, Sports Illustrated cover Dec. 21 1998

If Barry Bonds ended his career before steroid use, he'd be a clear Hall of Famer (The Washington Post)

Ray Fosse still feels effects from collision with Pete Rose in 1970 All-Star game (Denver Post)

Is There An ADHD Epidemic in Major League Baseball? (SB Nation)

Thunder Jet Fruit Snacks (The Nostalgia Blog)

50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong -- Title Meanings (Wikipedia)

Join us for our next LIVE Cracked Podcast! It's happening Saturday, April 14th at 7pm in Los Angeles. Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians Matt Lieb, Jenny Jaffe, and Carey O'Donnell for tales of the world's most bizarre celebrity origins & backstories. Tickets are $7 and available here.

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