Patriotic Games?


“…Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game – and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams….”  Jacques Barzun

Evidently, if you are a liberal, the following photo, taken Friday night at the gala opening of Sun Trust Park, home of the Marietta Braves (just a Marietta joke, folks) is offensive.

Apple Pie

These three things bring about visions of patriotism, of Americana, of America as it should be.  We think of the Fourth of July, fireworks, idiots stuffing their face with hotdogs, and baseball.   Baseball is patriotism.  It is America.  It is our national pastime.

“…Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come…”  W. P. Kinsella

Unfortunately, the long accepted connection between baseball and patriotism, the American flag is offensive to the more sophisticated liberal mind.

Frankly, I don’t give a damn!  I gather the good liberal doesn’t grasp the finer points of baseball, such as the fact that the National Anthem, before it was the National Anthem in 1930, was being played during the World Series games starting in 1918.  The Star Spangled Banner was played so often at baseball games it became part of the culture.  When the move was made to make it the National Anthem, baseball fans were already on board.

There’s a real reason why the final two words of the Star Spangled Banner, are “play ball”!