I’m a holiday guy. I love holidays. Chanukah/Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, track three on Green Day’s 2005 American Idiot album and of course America’s birthday, the 4th of July.
I love everything about it. People are happier, it’s smack in the middle of summer vacations, watch fireworks at night and watch baseball all day. It’s just past 1 o’ clock and I’ve already watched an intriguing Nationals-Cubs matchup on MLB Network, ESPN has two more games on national TV and the Rangers and Houston Astros play tonight, the latter with a chance to win and the former playing Carlos Pena at first base.
My own studies show that holidays absolutely bring the world together. The clothes people wear, the conversations shy or antisocial people will partake in because…well, AMERICA, man!
People are still a little bummed out because of the U.S. soccer team’s defeat on Tuesday afternoon to Belgium and their delicious waffles. The monstrous growth in support and sporty patriotism is wearing off as the World Cup makes it’s usual path to the final matchups without the United States players participation.
The World Cup has the benefit of a global stage and a short-term effect that American’s thrive on. Baseball is 162 games but just past the midway point and just prior to the league’s All Star Break is a jam packed, fan friendly and full day of baseball scheduled on July 4th.
The United States of America turns 238 years old today.
But Major League Baseball share’s this most valuable of calendar dates in a way that will never be replicated.
75 years ago Lou Gehrig gave the speech only someone like Martin Luther King, Jr. could come close to competing with on a powerful and emotional level.
As you know Gehrig was faced with a disease dismantling his strong body and breaking it down to the core, forcing him to retire in the midst of one of the most impressive professional baseball — or professional athlete careers — that will ever be registered by a human being.
Yet, in front of thousands in attendance and so, so many more listening beyond the confines of the historic Yankee Stadium heard two remarkable statements out of a man who had it all and was falling ill to a degenerative plague.
“Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.”
And to add on, knowing he was living on a short lease of time that had been fated to the wrongest of gentlemen, that he’s still got “An awful lot to live for.”
I did a report on the truest Iron Man “Sweet Lou” Gehrig for school, and teared up writing it. A newspaper clipping from my grandfather honoring Gehrig and his magical and monumental speech hangs from a hat rack in my room damn proudly.
The current first baseman of America’s past time put together a really really cool video to pay tribute to one of the greatest players ever to walk the diamond and people ever to walk the remainder of the Earth.
July 4th is a day of remembrance, thanks and celebration for the results worked so hard for by the courageous brave heroes of our past. Every sport does an absolutely tremendous job with such occasions, and baseball on the 4th of July is no exception at all.
Every team will wear red, white and blue hats with the team’s logo sharing the designated area just above the bill of the cap with a perfect star.
So Happy 4th of July to everyone! It’s a truly wonderful day to remember the past and present and future of and for the USA, the incomparable and unbreakable fighting spirit of Lou Gehrig, if you’re lucky enough to catch a game grab a hot dog on this most baseball of baseball days and with that, enjoy the greatness that is Baseball.