Baseball is America: America’s past-time and as common as American apple pie. To Cardinals Nation, the St. Louis Cardinals are the favorites. None of these things relate to politics and that is a good thing.
American politics is a messy and ugly thing. It is what makes our country work but is one hideous monster. The American people are waking today after a tumultuous night of politics. For many, they are happy and for others they aren’t. I miss my St. Louis Cardinals and I miss baseball and neither of these things are politically-based.
Let me be perfectly clear before moving forward that this article is a statement based on what took place in America this year, last night, and what is to come. I will not be taking sides on whether President-elect Trump is the right choice or not. Do not look in this article for my political preference.
I do want to highlight yet again how baseball, to me, is one thing that makes America great. I will spend this editorial praising the baseball gods and recognizing how baseball (and my St. Louis Cardinals) bring out the best in we Americans. I hope you will stick with me and can appreciate the value of the points I will make.
Baseball was created at a time when America was still trying to define itself. It is often traced to the late 1700s in American history when young Americans modified a British game into the early form of baseball. The first official team played in 1845 and by 1857 the first league was founded. Baseball then was a refuge from the Civil War and saw large numbers of participation. Baseball was a refuge.
Let’s not forget, however, that in its infancy baseball was a white-only sport. In 1947, in the face of race issues, the color barrier was broken by the great Jackie Robinson. In this example, baseball defied the politics of the time and shined a light on the best of who we are as Americans. It wasn’t easy and didn’t come without bruises but examples of the best rose to the top and did so through baseball.
"“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you” (Simon & Garfunkel, 1968)."
Please do not read into this praise for all things baseball as we must surely recognize that there are poor examples of the best of humanity making far too much money in this game. We know that humanity has a horrible way of wrecking things that are good. We must remember, however, that the good still exists.
Simon and Garfunkel sang, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you” and I feel this stands true today. I am exhausted by the election cycle and the divisiveness it highlighted. I long for the twenty-seven outs attained by athletes who square-off in feat alone, not colored by political affiliations and such.
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I long for the better angels of our nature to be highlighted through the bang of a ball against a wooden bat. Instead, I am faced with a long winter. In this long wait, let us watch the St. Louis Cardinals and the other teams in the MLB work to make themselves better. Let us learn a thing or two about moving the right pieces into the right slots so that we can succeed exemplified through baseball.
Then, when spring returns, we can all rejoice when once again the boys of summer lace their cleats and charge out of a dugout to face the challenge of nine opposing players each working one pitch at a time to better the other. Perhaps our country, right or wrong, will take things- for 162 games at least- one pitch at a time.
Rant finished. Thanks for reading and I hope you too are longing to baseball as I am longing for baseball. We at Redbird Rants will keep you informed of exciting things as they transpire this winter and hope that everyone stays safe and happy. Come back, baseball, come back!