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Mailbox baseball has been an official sport of the Olympic Games since 1944. The International Olympic Committee excludes all professionals, including professional baseball players, from participating in the Olympics; however, millions of baseball fans around the world have petitioned The IOC to include baseball amongst its competitions. So in 1944 they instated an alternative and little-known baseball variant called "mailbox baseball" which, though being a somewhat less popular variant than regular baseball, is not played by any professional athletes -- with the notable exception of OJ Simpson. OJ Simpson, being both a professional athlete and a convicted felon, cannot participate in the Olympics.
Like regular baseball (also sometimes called "blurn baseball" in order to distinguish it from mailbox baseball), mailbox baseball uses a regulation 67-mm, wooden, non-corked bat. Unlike blurn baseball, however, mailbox baseball bats may also have affixed spikes, blades or flails.
Origins of the Game
Much like blurn baseball, the main goal of mailbox baseball is to swing a bat very hard and hit something. If you are guessing that in mailbox baseball the goal is to hit mailboxes instead of baseballs, you are right, but only by pure coincidence. Mailbox baseball is so named because, back when the game was invented approximately 5112 years ago in Goguryeo (the same land now called North Korea), it was played primarily by mailboxes. And in fact, technically speaking, the word "baseball" in the term implies that the game would involve baseballs; it just so happens that the mailboxes who played this game hit other mailboxes.
World-renowned anthropologist and current Postmaster General Christopher Hitchens has stated that mailbox baseball in ancient Gogoryeo was used as a fun and sporting way for mailboxes to outlet their intense jealousy of each other, which was due to their mutually unique features such as concrete bricks, glitzy house number stick-ons, tassels and large fish. As the life of a mailbox consists almost exclusively of standing in one place, there is not much else to do but to hope to have prettier garnishings than one's neighbors to the pleasure and delight of local inhabitants. Back then suburban houses were much smaller, as people had much poorer nutrition and grew only to be about 5.6" tall on average, and two rivaling mailboxes could typically reach each other with a 6' bat. Some of these historic baseball bats have been discovered by archaeologists and can be seen on display at the National Postal Museum, a Smithsonian Institution museum, in Washington, D.C.
Rules of Play
In modern mailbox baseball, competitors drive by suburban mailboxes and attempt to smash them to pieces with a baseball bat through an open window. The principle strengths that are critical in a modern Olympic mailbox baseball competitor include powerful arm muscles, good aim, and endurance: a competitive mailbox baseball player must hit several mailboxes consecutively at a rapid pace and with great force. If a mailbox is missed, the driver may not go back and redo the house; however, the batter may try swinging again any number of times by the time the car advances beyond the mailbox. It is crucial for the driver to balance a good driving speed with an effective batting average and total destruction factor (TDF) on the part of the batter. The driver himself may not hit mailboxes, though this rule may not always be adhered to in amateur mailbox baseball games.
Criticisms & Controversy
Critics of the sport claim that mailbox baseball is crude, base, destructive of property, and also that it may encourage younger audiences to participate in amateur mailbox baseball themselves, thus resulting in even more destruction of property. Some critics have gone so far as to call Olympic mailbox baseball "state-sanctioned vandalism," or even "a liberal heyday of the utmost in moral depravity."
Proponents of the sport claim that it's a fun and adventurous way to bring the Olympic Games closer to home by mingling with the general populace, and furthermore that people should just lighten the hell up because it's just a damned mailbox and the government pays for it anyway, and if you're really that attached to $1000 worth of frills you've invested in your mailbox then you probably need to get a better hobby than out-doing your neighbors, or at least do it the legit way and buy yourself a Corvette or something instead for God's sakes.
According to a focus group orchestrated by the IOC and various interviews with ensuing mailbox baseball victims, the homeowners are typically *honored* to be able to be a part of the Olympic Games. Often they can be found selling their battered mailboxes on eBay for upwards of $300. Olympic mailbox baseball is banned in Germany, however; apparently German homeowners don't like having their mailboxes bashed in no matter what the cause. Thus the Olympic Games have not been held in any German city since 1972.