When I tell people that I am studying Broadcast Journalism in order to pursue my dream of Sports Broadcasting, they often ask what sport I would like to be involved in. I have never really been able to explain why, yet I have always said I would like to do something in baseball. They ask if that is y favorite sport to watch… I can honestly say that apart from August-October, I rarely sit down and watch an entire game. I eat and breath the stats, yet just don’t have the patience to sit through an entire game. However, live Baseball is somehow my favorite. There is the glam and circus like side show of the NBA, and the flames and cheerleading of the NFL, but at the end of the day baseball is like a good steak… it doesn’t need a single thing to compliment it because it is perfect all on it’s own.
But why baseball has become my go to answer has nevertheless evaded to explain itself in my mind. Maybe it’s because I have been able to see some amazing games in my lifetime. My first was McGwire, Sosa in the summer of 98′. My second was Royals, Yankees in the summer of 03′ when the Royals broke the American League record for hits in a game. I have seen Homers, Grand Slams, and Walk offs. I have seen a perfect game through seven innings, heck I have even sang in a choir that performed the National Anthem. I love the game, and there for would love to do this the rest of my life. Though I have been extremely blessed in my 20 years to see some amazing things in the game of baseball, my favorite baseball memory happened last week before a ball was even pitched.
As we know, this is Derek Jeter’s last season in the game, and it has been quite the roadshow to pay homage to the great Yankee throughout the season. Last week my dad, brother and I went to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington to watch Jeter’s last stand. Before the game I was talking to my dad, who lives in the area and goes to several games, and I said “you have been to some good games here, Opening Day, and such… You need to come to one where George Bush throws out the first pitch.”.
As the Jeter ceremony began, out comes Pudge Rodriguez and Michael Young to honor Jeter. Then, the announcer says to turn the attention to the video board and says “On September 11th, 2001 and the days after, nobody in the country was focused on the game of baseball. Yet, one moment in the game brought a new meaning to the game, and what it meant to be an American.” A video of George Bush then begins to play and he tells of him getting ready to throw the opening pitch of game three of the 2001 World Series… in Yankee Stadium. He tells of Jeter telling him to throw from the mound not in front, as that is a sign of weakness. He tells him “Mr. President, don’t bounce it… they will boo you.” You then see George Bush walk out with Joe Torre and Bob Brenly of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the crowd chanting USA, USA, USA. He zings the ball right over the plate, and the place erupts.
The announcer then says to welcome the 43rd President of the United States of America, and this time Rangers Park went wild. I looked at my dad, and we are both teary eyed and emotional from the sheer meaning behind the game in that moment in 2001, and what it means even today. Though Bush didn’t throw out the first pitch, it was a fantastic tribute to Jeter, the President, and America. And that is why I love America’s Pastime. That is why I cannot wait to do this for the rest of my life.
Here is the link to the Opening Pitch,
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