Archive for September 11th, 2011

How Baseball Healed Us

September 11th, 2011 by AmyMac | Comments Off on How Baseball Healed Us | Filed in Baseball, General

By Amy McCormick

I, like any one of you reading this, remember September 11, 2001 vividly.  I was teaching my pre-kindergarten class that Tuesday morning, and when word circulated from teacher to teacher, we all realized that we needed to suck it up, put on a smile, and go about our lessons for the day.  I told my four and five year old students that we had to have indoor recess because we had run out of sunscreen (I never said it was a good lie; it’s what popped into my head at the time).  In the days that followed the terrorists’ attacks, I came to the realization that teaching those children each day was keeping me sane.  They kept my heart full of love, and they kept me too busy to be afraid.  I’ve never taken the time to thank those kids, and I think tonight might be as good a time as any. 

Something else kept a lot of us going.  Baseball was a distraction from reality.  It was three hours of escape.  Major League Baseball paused briefly after the attacks, but was eagerly welcomed back.  New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani stated, “Baseball came along at just the right moment and re-established itself as the American pastime.”  Even rescue workers at Ground Zero listened to games on the radio; it kept their spirits up as much as they could be. 

For me, that Tuesday morning ten years ago made me start to question everything’s importance. (Family? Important.  Designer jeans? Not important.  You get the point.)  When it came to baseball, I’m sure someone could have argued that it seemed silly and inconsequential at the time.  It was far from that, though, and baseball was a way for us to stay connected to a pre-9/11 America.  Having something to cheer for was monumental.

I maintain the belief that if MLB had scrapped the rest of the season, the terrorists would have gotten their way.  There aren’t many things more American than baseball; it would have been a victory to Al Qaeda if we had chosen to abandon it.  The best part, to me, is the outcome of the 2001 World Series: The Diamondbacks defeated the Yankees in a Game 7 thriller.  It seemed poignant that the D’backs, in their first ever title, dethroned the three year reigning champions.  The message was clear: this is America, where possibilities are endless, and a bunch of terrorists are not enough to stop us.  I am grateful and proud to live in a country where I am free to watch a sport I love.  I am thankful for those who have fought and continue to fight for my freedom.