On Oct. 30, 2001, carrying a navy-blue New York Hearth Division quarter zip, President George W. Bush stepped out onto the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw the primary pitch of sport three of the World Collection.
There was not a lot to cheer for within the days following 9/11, however the cheers from the group had been deafening, because the president stood there with American flags flying throughout. It was a second that transcended time and introduced the nation collectively once we wanted it essentially the most.
Regardless of who you had been, the place you had been from, what your politics had been, we had been all united as one group, Individuals.
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There are a number of factors throughout our historical past the place baseball introduced our nation collectively. I even noticed it three years in the past in Washington, D.C., when Particular Agent David Bailey of the Capitol Police threw the primary pitch on the Congressional Baseball Recreation for Charity. Bailey had been injured throughout his heroism days earlier, defending my teammates and I from an nearly lethal assault.
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Whereas D.C. is thought for the entrenched partisanship that pulses all through the town, at that second, each single individual within the stadium was an American and nothing else.
Baseball is interwoven into the material of what it means to be an American, its historical past is full of tales of blood, sweat, tears and triumph. Yearly, once more and once more, Individuals fill stadiums throughout the nation to cheer on our favourite groups. Each summer time, parks and backyards are full of fathers and moms taking part in catch with their youngsters, simply because the technology prior did with theirs.
There’s something concerning the odor of fresh-cut grass intermingling with the distinct odor of a ballpark hotdog. The crack of a bat hitting the ball, the crunch of sunflower seed shells that litter the bottom beneath seats. The anticipation as individuals rise from their seats for a house run, a toddler fidgeting with a brand new glove in hopes of catching a ball. There’s something concerning the distinct shared experiences all of us have round watching a baseball sport that’s uniquely patriotic.
Simply as a group can recuperate from a years’ lengthy dropping streak to win the World Collection, our nation has an unimaginable capability to recuperate from any setback that we might expertise.
Maybe it’s the story of hope that has at all times been so prevalent all through the sport that makes it America’s sport. Simply as a group can recuperate from a years’ lengthy dropping streak to win the World Collection, our nation has an unimaginable capability to recuperate from any setback that we might expertise and to change into even stronger than we had been earlier than.
This yr has been rife with unprecedented challenges for our nation. Now we have been affected by a world well being pandemic, which resulted in heartbreaking deaths and brought about unemployment at ranges not seen for the reason that Nice Despair. The pandemic additionally meant that Individuals not had one of many final bonds of community we usually take without any consideration, sports activities.
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Main League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged that he’s “100 percent” positive that there might be a baseball season this yr, and I positive hope he’s proper. Our nation has by no means wanted baseball greater than we do at this second.
It’s time to play ball.
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