A Diamond is a Boy’s Best Friend
Baseball is America. Organized, professional baseball has been around since 1869, the same year that H.J. Heinz started his ketchup factory which produced an important condiment consumed at most baseball parks. Over the 150 years, the national pastime has seen everything that America has seen. Another season has now ended, and we are ready for the playoffs that will lead to the World Series.
Baseball has had some terrible times and disgraces. We had the Chicago “black sox” scandal where some players took bribes to throw a World Series. The league once banned African American players, which continued for 78-years after the Emancipation Declaration. Baseball has been accused of breeding bastions of drug users. The Pittsburgh drug trials of 1985 revealed that many Major League Baseball stars were not only using cocaine but were involved in trafficking. In 2001-2003, we learned that many stars, including Alex Rodriquez, were using performance enhancing drugs. In those same years, many records had been broken and now players are drug tested, like racehorses.
Baseball suffered through and survived many players strikes but came out of those downtimes stronger and better. Annual player salaries range from $550,000 to $35 million, and most people cannot imagine making that much money, but for years players were taken advantage of by fat cat owners who “owned” players for their entire careers. Those players were emancipated by labor strikes.
This brings us to Donald J. Trump. Most presidents had an affinity for the sport and understood that “baseball, apple pie and mom” were sentiments of the common man. Most presidents have taken pleasure in throwing out the first ball on opening day of a new season. Every president since Woodrow Wilson has done so. Trump ended this 109-year-old presidential tradition, most likely because he doesn’t want to hear the boos from the crowd.
Trump had his battle with the National Football League players who protested racial inequalities, but he doesn’t seem to connect to baseball, America’s game. Trump once played baseball and claims he was scouted by both the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox in high school but decided to attend college. There is no reason to doubt this, although his stats from high school seem to have disappeared. And isn’t it interesting that just a few years later his bone spurs kept him out of the Vietnam war but didn’t seem to hurt his “stellar” baseball career? Trump is a decent golfer and gets a lot of practice, therefore one can believe he probably could hit a baseball.
Why has Trump never engaged with Major League Baseball? Perhaps the sport has too many immigrants for his taste. As of this year, there were 21 nations represented in the league. Players have defected from their home countries just to play here. Most players have no problem getting a work visa, green card and eventual citizenship. After all, they posses a specific skill, which helps to expedite their entry and immigration. But Trump doesn’t seem to care about great baseball players from other countries, even if they come from Mexico (20) or Cuba (20).
Trump seems anti-American at times and I don’t mean that in a joking way. He seems to be more comfortable with dictators and known enemies than our allies. As American troops traveled the world, they taught the locals our national pastime. Most Japanese baseball players were taught by their fathers and grandfathers who picked the game up from US soldiers. Baseball is its own melting pot.
The Caribbean players were schooled in baseball as a result of the early days of America influence in the region. The Dominican Republic currently has 84 players in the league and has provided MLB with more infielders than any other. One could argue that these immigrants are taking American jobs, but baseball has a level playing field. If you can hit a curve ball or pitch a ball faster than 90-miles-per-hour, it doesn’t matter what country is on your passport.
Maybe Trump has a fear of throwing out the first pitch. Any president who does gets booed by half the crowd. It’s just good sport. Remember both George H.W. and George W. Bush were baseball players and have pretty good arms. George W. Bush was a managing director and owner of the Texas Rangers team before he got into politics. Obama had a good arm and he threw out the first pitch at Washington Nationals games. Even with the boo birds out, Obama had the balls to don a Chicago White Sox cap doing it. Then there’s Clinton. He usually threw a strike when he took on the task.
Trump seems to be too busy to be involved with baseball, probably because it doesn’t give him a political edge. He is detached until there’s a winning team, which he hosts at the White House. He just wants a photo-op with the winners.
We don’t see him in the stands. We don’t see him eating a hotdog. He’s simply M.I.A. with our national sport. He’s pissed off a lot of people in America, but this devout baseball fan is glad he doesn’t interfere with the spirit of the game. After all, baseball was here long before Trump and it will be here long after him. Trump is entering his ninth inning and without a major rally he will be on the losing team. Those who have been cheering for him, may have to throw out their little red baseball caps after the season is complete. Maybe they will finally see Trump for the bum he is, a traitor at worse, a fake at best.
Read About The Country We Love
The book that tells it like it is…
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.