Happy 4th of July

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There was only one night game a year.  On the 4th of July, the whole sky would brighten up with fireworks, giving us just enough light for a game.  We played our best then because, I guess, we all felt like the big leaguers under the lights of some great stadium.


Photo courtesy of fineartamerica.com


This year there will be no night game, instead our favorite teams are getting ready to play baseball in a few weeks.  Before there can be baseball, this weekend brings us the 4th of July.  This 4th of July just hits different.  Maybe it’s the fact we were told to quarantine for months, or that the country is beyond divided and embroiled in racial divide.  Or maybe we all need a day to unwind and gather with friends and family, and then we all throw 2020 the middle finger and have a great time with Old Glory just dancing in the wind looking down on us. 

It sucks there will be no night game this year. The Red Sox would be in Pittsburgh this weekend playing the Pirates.  Who knows where the Sox would have been in the standings at this point and what the topic of conversation that would be dominating the radio back in Boston.  One thing for certain is I am missing the red, white and blue themed hats for the this weekend.

When our Founding Fathers got together, they would have no clue that in the future, a few hundred years might I add, that we'd be firing up the grill and having some hot dogs, macaroni salad, and a few Bud Heavy's while tossing the corn hole bag around with buddies in the backyard.




As I sit here, writing this blog, I am listening to Ray Charles sing “America the Beautiful” from 2001 before Game 2 of the World Series.  In 2001, baseball helped the country and New York post 9/11.  From Charles’ amazing rendition of “America the Beautiful” to former President George W. Bush walking out to the mound at Yankee Stadium before Game 3.  He stood atop the mound before a standing ovation with a baseball in his hand.  He would deliver the ceremonial first pitch, a strike to the catcher Todd Greene.  The pitch meant more than the ceremonial first pitch, it let the country and the world know we could start to heal after the 9/11 attacks. 




It’s funny how a piece of rubber or cork that is wrapped in yarn, covered in white cowhide with 108 stitches impacts each and everyone of us.  This year baseball can do the same for us like it did for us and the world back in 2001.  Sports can provide us with an escape and I am chomping at the bit for Red Sox baseball. 

On the 4th of July, I am going to celebrate our freedoms and try and thank everyone I can who allows us the ability to be free everyday.  I never really watch fireworks, I never was a big fan of them.  Like the kids in the “Sandlot” movie, I will stop and watch the sky light up.  As the fireworks light up the sky, it will be a beacon of hope in a world so desperate for something good and positive to come out of it.



You see, for us, baseball was a game.  But for Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, baseball was life.  What I would give to be a kid again, to be Scotty Smalls from the Sandlot during the summer of '62.  To encounter the baseball stealing dog named "The Beast".  With all that being said, in a few weeks baseball will be back on NESN and it  can bring this country back together.  We'll have sports and we can hopefully get to see our Boston Red Sox from Fenway Park.  For that, I am thankful. 

Stay safe out there everybody, and Happy 4th of July to the greatest country on the planet.




Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Happy 4th of July
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