The Owners and players still have no deal and it’s not looking like baseball will return, but everyone needs to realize how bad we need MLB back.
Last Wednesday, Rob Manfred said on ESPN that we will 100% have MLB return this year. A lot of people took his word and were getting excited to finally get baseball back. The excitement was short-lived as today, Rob Manfred said that he is not confident that we will get baseball back this year. We need baseball back.
To many people, baseball is just a sport. It isn’t just a sport, baseball is one of a kind. It has the ability to bring people together and has the ability to heal the nation. We all know the world has been attacked by COVID-19, nothing is normal anymore and we don’t know when it will go back to normal. Millions of people have lost their jobs, yet we have owners and players fighting over money when they have the power to bring this country together. This shouldn’t be about money. This should be about using the platform to heal the country a bit like it has done many times before.
No matter what has been going on in the world for the last 100+ years, one thing has remained the same. Baseball. It is the healing sport, it’s our national past time. Everyone knows September 11, 2001. A day that will never be forgotten. Baseball was canceled for the rest of the week that year. No city needed baseball more than New York. During the week after the attacks, many Yankees players went to comfort many first responders and firefighters. New York is a baseball city and the Yankees used their platform to do their best to aid.
We can’t talk about baseball post 9/11 without mentioning one of the biggest moments in baseball history. When a singular home run brought an entire city together. The Mets were the first team to play in New York after the attacks. It was September 21, 2001, and the Mets were playing the Atlanta Braves.
Fast forward to the bottom of the 8th, Mets are down 2-1. Runner on first with one out. In stepped Mike Piazza with a chance to not only give the Mets the lead but the chance to give the city a reason to smile for the first time in 10 days. Piazza would send an 0-1 fastball over the center-field wall sending Shea Stadium and the city of New York into a frenzy.
New Yorkers thought they would never have a reason to smile again. Firefighters thought they would never smile again. Mike Piazza gave them a reason to smile again. The entire stadium was either crying or smiling. Firefighters who had lost friends were smiling. Fans who had lost family members were smiling. MLB gave them a reason to smile again and for that moment in time, gave them a chance to forget about what had occurred 10 days before.
In that same year, the Yankees were in the postseason and were making a push for the World Series. In the ALDS they quickly found themselves down two games to zero against Oakland. The Yankees would force a game five in the Bronx and would go on to win the series.
The Yankees weren’t just playing to defend the title. They were playing for the city of New York. In the ALCS they would face the Mariners. The 116 game-winner Seattle Mariners. With the heart of New York on their side, the Yankees would win the series in five games. For the first time ever, the country was actually rooting for the Yankees.
The Yankees would play their first home game of the World Series in game three and it was a big one. President George. W. Bush threw out the most important first pitch of all time. The Yankees would win that game, and the next two games were history. The Yankees found themselves down 3-1 in the bottom of the 9th in Game Four. With a runner on first and two outs, in stepped Tino Martinez.
Martinez would send the first pitch he saw over the right-center-field wall to tie the game. Derek Jeter would hit his signature Mr. November home run in the bottom of the 10th to tie the series at two games. In-Game Five the Yankees would again find themselves trailing going into the 9th inning, this time down 2-0. With a runner on second and two outs, in stepped Scott Brosius. He would send the 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall, tying the game at two. Alfonso Soriano would hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th.
MLB has the ability to again heal the country. In 2001, New Yorkers never thought they would smile again but baseball gave them a reason to. Bostonians never thought they would smile again after the Boston Bombings. Baseball gave them a reason to.
Baseball is not just a game. To many people, it’s their life. It gives them a chance to forget about whatever they are going through, It gives them a chance to heal whatever pain they have, It gives them a chance to feel connected to people who may not be with us anymore. It gives people the chance to forget about life for a while.
The country needs baseball this year. The players for the most part realize that. The owners need to stop caring about money and realize that this is a prime opportunity to grow the game. They need to remember the healing power of MLB.