As editor of the World News section and a Political Science major, most of my days are full of bad news. Currently, Donald Trump is leading in the polls, a report shows that there is corruption of massive proportions on the global scale, and not a day goes by where I don’t hear about a shooting, bombing, attack or something of the sort. But this week is a good week, because baseball is back.
America’s pastime is in its opening week and I could not be in more need for the game we all love. There have been many turbulent times in American history since 1903, the year Major League Baseball was founded. But baseball has been something the American people can always rely on. It’s a sport that has united this country from it’s very beginning. A fitting example of this is the third World Series game at Yankee Stadium after 9/11.
It was the first home game for the Yankees in the series and President George W. Bush was slated to throw out the first pitch. Bush stepped out on to the mound, with a hefty bulletproof vest draped over his torso, to thunderous applause from everyone in the stadium. The president got up on the mound, gave a thumbs up to the crowd and threw a beautiful, sloping fastball right down the middle. The strike was met with even louder cheers from the crowd.
In that moment it didn’t matter what team you were rooting for or what political party you sided with because in that moment those silly labels disappeared and only one mattered: we were all Americans.
When I go through the gates at any ballpark in this country, it’s as if the world’s problems just go away. The smell of the freshly cut grass hits you, the PA announcer announcing the line ups makes you forget the news anchor telling you about another shooting or another dumb thing Donald Trump said. When I walk in to that stadium I know that during the next three hours all that matters is that game. Nothing happens fast, so if I want to have a conversation with the guy I just met sitting next to me about how the starting rotation for whatever team is looking, I can. If I just want to sit back and not talk to anyone I can do that, too.
Some people don’t like baseball because it’s “too slow” or there’s “not enough action.” And I have to say, to a point, I would agree. Baseball is not always as action packed or fast paced as football or basketball, but to me that’s what makes the game so special. You never hear of a fight breaking out at a baseball game. You do at football games, but not baseball. Baseball brings people together it doesn’t divide. I think it’s the pace of the game that makes it so enjoyable and relaxing for everyone in the park no matter what team you want to win.
Now, don’t think that baseball isn’t a competitive sport and doesn’t have any action because it certainly does. In fact, the pace of the game might add to the action as well. If it’s the bottom of the ninth inning with a team’s slugger at the plate and the team is down by one run, I challenge you to find me a more stressful time in any sport than the time it takes the pitcher to get set and throw the next pitch.
So as 2016 goes on and more bad news hits our airwaves, if you just decide you can’t take it anymore switch the TV to a baseball game. Or better yet, buy tickets and go to the ballpark. And once you’re there just let the game work it’s magic and restore your faith in America again.