Baseball and Americana
Many changes can be seen occurring throughout the United States as we begin a slow but consistent return to normalcy throughout the country after what we hope is the downhill slope of a year-long pandemic. Recent events have led many to believe that America is fundamentally failing and inherently flawed. Many have lost their sense of optimism. In the past 15 months, Americans have witnessed shocking events such as; the emergence of a deadly global virus, the death of George Floyd and the subsequent riots that followed, and Capitol riots of January 6, 2021 just to name a few.
These distressing events have allowed for an overarching narrative to emerge that decries the U.S. is in decline and full of uneducated & foolish people. This assertion is simply not true. Many arguments can be made in defense of the United States, many deeply philosophical in nature, however, you simply need look to America’s favorite pastime to see a story that proves our exemplary nature.
Cincinnati Reds professional baseball player, Joey Votto was thrown out of an MLB game for extensively arguing with an umpire about an adverse call while the first baseman was at bat early in the game. Unfortunately, dedicated 9-year-old, Abigail Courtney was deeply upset about her favorite player being booted from the game as she had travelled all the way from Los Angeles. Abigail’s mother took to Twitter stating, “When it’s your first MLB game and your favorite player of all time gets thrown out of the game in the first inning” hashtag #weloveyoujoey followed the post.
Abigail’s mother, Kristin reported it took several hugs and some generous helpings of popcorn for the young fan to come to terms with the absence of her favorite player but that was not the end. Towards the end of the game, the Courtney’s were shocked when an autographed baseball inscribed with “I am sorry I didn’t play the entire game” was delivered to their seats. After being made aware of the twitter post, Votto sent a signed ball and tickets to the series finale to the dedicated fans as an apology for his dismissal.
This demonstration of going above and beyond speaks to America’s testament as a distinctive force of good. This is a small story, though cute and laughable, but it should remind us that the United States is still full of men and women who strive to better the lives of people around them. In chaotic and uncertain times, it is often easy to focus on the negative and the unknown but stories such as Abigail and Joey’s should not only give us hope but a reason to continue to strive to make the world a better place. As Americans come together this year to celebrate our founding, lets focus on the small things that make us uniquely good.