MLB steps up
By Lisa R. Neilson
I’ve always been a sucker for sentiment. My husband calls me over-emotional. Simply put, I cry a lot. I cry at graduations (my children’s elementary and middle school celebrations so far), funerals (including Michael Jackson’s) and reunions of fictional characters (Friends’ Ross and Rachel tops the charts). I will even confess to shedding a few tears as we said goodbye to ol’ Shea. Which explains why I completely lost it earlier this week (i.e., bawled like a baby) as I sat at my computer viewing MLB’s tributes to Boston and the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Monday’s events were a senseless tragedy. Some people’s lives will never be the same. The bombings at the Boston Marathon stand as an example of the evil that can exist in the world today. We continue to hear countless stories, however, of Americans who stepped up to help fellow Americans. A man in a tie and suit stood in the middle of a street directing traffic because officials were obviously needed elsewhere. A runner who had already crossed the finish line carried a badly injured bystander (a total stranger) to safety and remained with her to help abate her fears. And countless participants of the marathon ran to nearby hospitals immediately following the two explosions to donate their blood despite just completing a 26.2 mile race. These are examples of the good that does exist in the world today.
Games typically divide people. Rivalry and competitiveness can drive a wedge between even the strongest friendships. But sports can also comfort people and lend normalcy to a world that can seem very abnormal at times. MLB offered such a comfort this week. Fans and players alike stood together honoring Boston, its teams and its people. There was the cartoon that pictured the backs of two ballplayers—one a Red Sox, the other a Yankee—standing arm in arm; there were moments of silence before games held Monday evening and all of Tuesday; and there were countless renditions of Sweet Caroline, the Red Sox’s unofficial anthem, sung by fans everywhere.
Baseball is a team sport. One player’s success or miscue affects the entire team. In this regard, baseball is a lot like life—one individual’s actions, whether kind or horrific, produces a rippling effect felt worldwide. Today, Bostonians are still mourning from this haunting incident, as are New Yorkers, Arizonians, and Californians. Major League Baseball reached across the country this week in efforts to help heal and lift up not only the players and fans of Boston but to show the world that despite the colors we may wear on the diamond, we stand united as a country.