I hope my regular readers can take another story that involves baseball. Hey, it’s the stuff of summer, particularly in the US. Trust me, this story is different. This story is better. This story makes me feel good, and that’s what this blogfest is all about.
This is a story about a big bunch of grown-ups setting aside their normal routine, their self-interests, their time and their money to do something really cool for a bunch of kids. According to a story on CBS Sports this past Monday:
“An uplifting baseball first took place on Sunday night, as the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates took part in the Little League Classic in Williamsport, Penn. Williamsport is of course the site of the ongoing Little League World Series, and for the first time two big-league teams went at it at in BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.”
That’s right, two major league baseball (MLB) teams stepped out of the 38,000 seat PNC Park, travelled a couple hundred miles to the middle of Pennsylvania and played a regular season game at Historic Bowman Field which holds fewer than 2,400 fans, not counting the ones sitting on the hill behind the outfield.
The Pirates are my team. I grew up in Pittsburgh and I have followed this team through good times and bad. The Pirates have been involved in a lot of ‘firsts’ – They played (and lost) in the First World Series. They started the ‘Farm System’ that has become the industry known as minor league baseball. They won a World Series in 1960 with a team that included MLB’s first Puerto Rican superstar, Roberto Clemente and just this year, they added Gift Ngoepe, the first player from the African continent, to their roster.
This first is different.
While the MLB World Series is mainly a US and Canadian affair, the Little League World Series is a world deal. I love watching the LLWS, and so far this year, I’ve watched teams from Mexico, Venezuela, Italy and South Korea play. For some of those kids, this is the only time in their lives they will see a major league game.
The Pirates and the Cardinals didn’t just go to Williamsport to play ball. They hung out with the kids, they signed autographs, watched them play and they ended their game with the traditional Little League handshake line between teams. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred:
“I have a lot of great days in my job. But today, even before we get to the Major League game, has been one of the absolute best.”
Similarly, Clint Hurdle, coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates said:
“One of the highlights of my career…I was happy to be a part of it, humbled to be a part of it.”
Baseball is supposed to be fun. Sunday night, it was!
The “We are the World” Blogfest is in its sixth month of a year-long journey. The goal of WATWB is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts,Simon Falk, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, and Mary J Giese welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2018.