Category Archives: baseball

Patriotism, Politics, and Playing Ball Revisited, One More Time

Update: 2020. This is something I wrote in 2005. During the opening ceremonies at the World Series Game 2 in San Francisco in 2003, a giant American flag filled the field, held high by representatives of our armed services. A Marine who had lost both legs and an arm tossed out the first pitch. The looks on the faces of the athletes was hard to misinterpret. They may have spent time on the DL, but looking at this young man standing tall in his uniform put everything in a very different light. So, here are  my reflections on patriotism, politics, and playing baseball from several years ago. Beer costs way more today, but there won’t be anyone at the ballpark to buy it, so there’s that. This year there are still soldiers fighting and dying far away, but now we are also focused on the violence right here at home, and the toll the pandemic is taking. We may not be attending games and watching who will take a knee and who will offer support and who will choose to do nothing for a year or more. Does it makes sense to mix patriotism, politics and sports today…or ever?


For the last two years, I have donned orange and black and headed to the ballpark to see the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day. Thousands of others skipped work and school to sit in the sunshine and root for the home team. Before the mayor tossed out the first pitch, all eyes were on the field as the Coast Guard unfurled an enormous representation of the stars and stripes in straightaway center. Men  and women in uniform lined up along the fences. Four Navy jets buzzed low over the stadium.

With the nation still at war, the pre-game fireworks display and the jets screaming overhead reminded me of what I came to the ballpark to forget for a little while. We have all seen the rockets’ red glare, along with bombs bursting in air, for much too long. But how could I allow myself to forget , even for a few hours, that soldiers were fighting and dying far away–young men and women also wearing uniforms that look nothing like the ones on the players I came to watch on a sunny April afternoon.

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Let’s Talk Baseball

This post was part of my Zero to Sixty in One Year blog. It turned up in one of the earliest posts relating to my elementary school days. In light of recent events, it’s coming off the bench one more time. . .   And, of course, I mean 1962 Giants baseball. All the kidsContinue Reading

Clueless in Seattle

To be fair, the inquisitive young woman from New Zealand sitting next to me at the A’s vs Mariners game at Safeco Field in Seattle had never been to a baseball game before. Naturally, there was a lot of stuff she didn’t know—like which stadium she should go to in order to watch a game.Continue ReadingContinue Reading