Tuesday: August 30, 2016

Though the Yankees lost their fist game against the Kansas City Royals last night, it was an enjoyable game and filled with fascinating encounters. First, the Yankees did bring the tying run to the plate in both the 8th and 9th innings. What was truly fun was all the baseball fans I met from all over the United States. The shuttle from the hotel was filled with half Royal fans and half Yankee fans. Though loyal to their teams, everybody was in good humor and gently teased each other. In this five minute ride, the 26 people on the van quickly became a community. As we approached Kauffman Stadium someone on the van said, “If only our politics could be this friendly.” After we reached the stadium people were taking pictures with each other. Two pictures I enjoyed taking were of an elderly couple from Oklahoma. Dressed to the nines in Yankee jerseys and even a Yankee handbag, this couple shared their 63 year affection and support for their team. The second picture was of a family from Nebraska. Mom and Dad wore Royal gear, but their teenage son was a Yankee fan. The fans in the seats around me during the game were as diverse as America itself. What was evident was the common love of baseball and our nation. The Royals honored both a World War II veteran and a active military hero who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The standing ovation for these men as well as the singing of the National Anthem by everybody in the stands was heartwarming and very reassuring with some of the unpleasant discourse we hear and see these days. Baseball is more than a game as President Franklin Roosevelt once said. It is part of America’s fabric that can hold us together in times of challenge.

Ron Abrams is the rector of St. James.

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