Rep. Fleischmann: Our nation has never needed baseball more than we do at this moment – It's time to play ball
June 17, 2020
Coronavirus recovery — this can help rebuild community and hope
By U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann
June 17, 2020
On Oct. 30, 2001, wearing a navy-blue New York Fire Department quarter zip, President George W. Bush stepped out onto the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw the first pitch of game three of the World Series.
There was not much to cheer for in the days following 9/11, but the cheers from the crowd were deafening, as the president stood there with American flags flying all around. It was a moment that transcended time and brought the nation together when we needed it the most.
No matter who you were, where you were from, what your politics were, we were all united as one team, Americans.
There are multiple points across our history where baseball brought our nation together. I even saw it three years ago in Washington, D.C., when Special Agent David Bailey of the Capitol Police threw the first pitch at the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. Bailey had been injured during his heroism days earlier, protecting my teammates and I from an almost deadly attack.
While D.C. is known for the entrenched partisanship that pulses throughout the city, at that moment, every single person in the stadium was an American and nothing else.
Just as a team can recover from a years’ long losing streak to win the World Series, our nation has an incredible capacity to recover from any setback that we may experience.
This year has been rife with unprecedented challenges for our nation. We have been stricken by a global health pandemic, which resulted in heartbreaking deaths and caused unemployment at levels not seen since the Great Depression. The pandemic also meant that Americans no longer had one of the last bonds of community we normally take for granted, sports.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that he is “100 percent” sure that there will be a baseball season this year, and I sure hope he’s right. Our nation has never needed baseball more than we do at this moment.
It’s time to play ball.