It has definitely been a chaotic and grueling season in American politics. We’ve had to deal with Trumpism, rumors of a contested and/or brokered convention within the GOP and the contention between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Some argue that America has reached peak polarization.
The American people deserve a breath of fresh air and a mental escape from the barrage of news covering the presidential election. That is why many will welcome the return of America’s pastime: baseball. Fans all over the nation are celebrating Opening Day, the moments where hotdogs, peanuts, and seventh-inning stretches will dominate interests and excitement.
The boys are back in town. And while they’re focusing on getting base hits and making defensive stops, perhaps they have a bigger mission to complete: allowing Americans to look past their political differences.
Baseball has always intertwined with politics. Presidents have been known to throw out ceremonial pitches, and who could ever forget the goosebumps-invoking moment George W. Bush threw out the first pitch in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium, to the chants of “USA-USA-USA” following the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
From the singing of the national anthem to the very last out in the bottom of the ninth, baseball embodies the spirit of America where people can come together from various walks of life and enjoy a tradition that’s as old and enriching as apple pie.
Now let’s not be naive. Like politics, baseball features competitiveness and rivalry. Whether it’s Yankees-Red Sox or Dodgers-Giants, you can expect to see the back-and-forth banter between fans and franchises, which usually draws more attention and fanfare to the game.
But in a society that sometimes becomes toxic when opposing views and beliefs are shared, baseball provides an atmosphere where people there could care less about your political persuasion and simply want you to join them in cheering on their favorite team.
But baseball is more than just being a Braves, Tigers or Royals fan. It goes beyond sitting in the seats facing the third base side watching your favorite player chew bubblegum. It’s about rooting for patriotic traditions that speaks volumes of the culture of America.
So as another season of baseball comes upon us, while we cheer for our teams and root against our rivals, let’s cherish the moment of unity within our communities. Our nation needs it.
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