By Krystle Carmona
“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”—John Adams
And what better way to celebrate America’s birthday than with America’s favorite pastime. For many families, The Fourth of July is a day of celebration, commemorating our nation’s independence, and the perfect excuse to indulge in good food, family, fireworks, and, of course –baseball.
When you think of The Fourth of July, so many unforgettable moments in baseball history come to mind. From Lou Gehrig’s infamous farewell speech, to Dave Righetti pitching a no-hitter against Boston, to the 4 a.m. fireworks display after the New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves, and so forth. Needless to say, baseball has been a staple in American culture for so long, it’s almost impossible to imagine our nation without it.
It is a game that has been played on American soil for nearly two centuries with deep roots in our nation’s history. During Lincoln’s presidency, you could often find him playing catch with his sons. He loved the game so much that he eventually built a baseball field behind the White House. Now, how cool is that? William Taft also became the first president to throw out the first pitch during a Major League Baseball game in 1910, starting the trend for presidents to follow.
Moreover, the issue concerning racism in America was further brought to the forefront in 1947 when Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player to play in the Major Leagues, shattering the color barrier. This alone solidified baseball as one of the first and most progressive organizations in American society.
Just as Adams predicted, the sport still remains a core component of Independence Day. So, why not celebrate the holiday that granted us freedom by enjoying America’s greatest game. So, take in a ballgame this July Fourth. Wave that American flag high and proud. Grab a hot dog and some Cracker Jacks. Belt out your best rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” And, enjoy the fireworks. Happy Independence Day!