There are few things that bring the diverse population of America together. Food and sports seem to be the over arching things that bring us together. However, one sport has ingrained itself into our lives outside the field as much as baseball. When we see the picture of an idilic childhood in the movies it is that of a parent throwing a baseball back and forth with their child. Early on in school, we learn the cheerful tunes of Take Me Out to the Ball Game. We study historic figures in baseball’s hall of fame that hallmarked the merging of a more diverse and accepting place.
As a young girl, my father used softball (the girl’s version of baseball) to teach me sportsmanship and team work. It was long afternoons practicing with my team mates under the blistering Texas sun. We bonded as a team over our losses as much as our wins. Though we didn’t win a lot. My dad played baseball a lifetime ago as a young boy growing up as did much of his friends. He once told me, he didn’t think anyone in the neighborhood that he grew up in didn’t play. It just shows you how much baseball is a piece of Americana during our childhoods.
However, baseball is becoming more than just America’s game. I recently went to a Texas Rangers game and saw players on both the home team and opposition come not only from the United States but overseas like South Korea. On the schedule was a game night dedicated to celebrating the different heritages of the team members of the Texas Rangers. It is so interesting to see since this would have seem like a dream to Jackie Robinson and others who fought for a more inclusive game.
If I turned around in my seat, I could see generations of family gathered together to celebrate being together and their love of the game. Young children had their gloves poised for foul balls or any ball that float their way while discussing the game with their gleaming parents. It seemed like the summer heat couldn’t phase these fans nor their enthusiasms. I couldn’t help thinking that this is what baseball is all about. Baseball is a celebration of coming together for one day, a couple of hours, and cheering for your team. So let’s go Rangers!