Remember the old commercial from 1974 with the line, “Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet?” Because that one simple line spoke America! in volumes, it was and is one of the most memorable commercials in all of advertising history. You heard that commercial and immediately thought of all the things that make America such a wonderful country to live in.
Today, we celebrate Independence Day as we do every July 4th, and remember an almost sacred event that occurred 238 years ago today – the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. That one event, for which so many sacrificed their lives, essentially gave America it’s freedom from the tyranny and rule of Great Britain and set this nation on a path to becoming the greatest country in the history of the modern world.
Perhaps the celebration today is more about all of the freedoms that Americans enjoy rather than just freedom from foreign rule, but we are still moved each year when we consider all of those gone on before us who sacrificed so much, fighting and dying to realize a dream that most of them never fully realized in their own lifetime.
Independence Day is a time to remember, to rejoice, and to celebrate with family and friends, take a break from our labors, and have fun! Those before us earned it, and we earn it ourselves each year with hard work, devotion to family, country, and faith.
Each year the tradition for me is family, good friends, picnics with great food, and the one constant for me each year – baseball!
Life isn’t easy, even in America, but some things seem to remain a constant in American life. While Chevrolet may have taken a hit over the years, we still love our apple pie, our hot dogs, and many of us absolutely adore the game of baseball.
Perhaps the character of Terence Mann in the movie, Field of Dreams said it best when talking about the majesty and the history of the greatest game ever played…
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.
Indeed, there is no other sport more closely associated to the yearly celebration of Independence Day than America’s pastime, baseball, and it’s been a part of my own Independence Day ritual as far back as I can remember.
Whatever you’re doing to celebrate today, sit back a moment and give me just a bit of your time as I share with you some of the most memorable events and performances in baseball that occurred on July the 4th – Independence Day.