There is no one who will forget the events that took place on September 11, 2001. I remember standing in front of a tv and watching in horror as the second tower was hit and news of the other planes began to circulate. As breathtaking as those scenes were, part of me wondered, where do we go from here? How will things change? What is normal going to be like and how long will it take to get there?
Another scene I will not forget is when I laid on my couch in my apartment and watched Jack Buck tell me it was fine to be glad baseball was back. It was right that baseball was there for us. There was a void in the days after 9/11, when the normalcy that was weekday baseball was not there. It didn’t need to be. We were mourning, we were curious and we were just shocked. The time comes, though, that you start to miss the distractions that you like to have in your life.
It’s days like today that you realize, even more than usual, that sports really are meaningless. They’re fun and exciting. They have moments that seem life or death, like when your team is playing its bitter rival that your friend happens to be pulling for. But in the end they are as they’re intended to be, a distraction.
That first day that baseball was back was special. There were ceremonies at ballparks across the country remembering those lost in the tragedies that were 9/11. President Bush in New York for the first pitch in the World Series was simply awesome. It seems careless to think that a sport can help heal, but that is what baseball has done so many times. I remember it did then as well. My roommates and I sat together not to watch in grief the scene from ground zero, but a game, where we could laugh and detach.
So, enjoy what you see on the field. Cheer as hard as you want for your favorite players and teams. And remember. Remember the disbelief in your mind and your heart as you watched things happen that day. Thank a man or woman who serves this country or your community. Baseball is fun, baseball is American and baseball is as normal as it gets.