Sunday, April 3, 2016, was opening day for Major League Baseball (MLB), which is both a religious and an American holiday.
Let’s face it, God is a baseball fan. You don’t believe me? Here’s the proof. When baseball season begins, the days get longer, the temperature get warmer, flowers bloom, and trees turn green. If that is not a message from our maker, I don’t know what is.
Baseball is America’s game, it is the sport that most closely reflects the American Dream that freedom gives every American the opportunity for prosperity and success, no matter where they started. We have the dream that our family and children will be better off than we were as long as they work hard. That is also the dream of baseball, especially on opening day. What the team did last year gets thrown out, and players who work hard can go from bust to boom. Teams can go from lousy one year and make the World Series the next. Heck like the 1969 New York Mets, teams can go from lousy to World Champions in the same season (but of course that took some extra-help from above).
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Baseball is a game most of us played growing up. Sure we played football also, but when you watch the National Football League (NFL) on television most of the players seem like they are seven feet tall, four hundred pounds and could crush a car with one hand. If we found ourselves in the middle of an NFL game most of us would receive major (if not fatal) injuries. Baseball players seem like “regular guys.” While watching a MLB game many fans believe that given a few months to train they could play on that level.
This is a sport of individuality. Sure football and basketball has individual stars but those stars are more dependent on team play. A great quarterback performance can be ruined by a lousy offensive line, or a lousy defense. But a great hitter on a tear can carry a team for weeks, so could a great pitcher or two. A hot player’s effect on the rest of their team is greater than in other sports. While there are “team plays” such as shifts, hit and runs, double steals etc., when it comes right down to it, most of the time baseball is a battle between one pitcher and one hitter.
And just like any little American kid can become president, any MLB player can be the hero. Many pitching superstars have never pitched a no-hitter, but many mediocre players have. How many “non-stars” have delivered the game winning hit, or gotten hot during the playoffs or world series. That is the dream of America’s game, the every-man game.