Most people are outraged that neo-nazis and white supremacists are trying to make a comeback. My great-uncle fought nazis. He didn’t risk his life just to see these weak-minded a$$hats walk the streets thinking they’re superior to everyone else. In fact, it does a grave dishonor to those baseball players who volunteered to fight in World War II. War Hero Ted Williams, along with Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, and many others exchanged a bat for a gun to defend America. These whites supremacists dishonor every American who fought the Axis powers in World War II.
The game of baseball itself has survived multiple wars and conflicts. President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis to continue to the game despite the war. “I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going,” Roosevelt wrote to Landis. “There will be fewer people unemployed and everybody will work longer hours and harder than ever before. And that means that they ought to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work even more than before.”
Roosevelt was right. More than ever American civilians had to make sacrifices in ways they’d never imagined. Commodities became scarce. Blackouts threw cities into darkness in the event that nazi or Japanese bombers made it to the continental United States. Most importantly, 400,000 Americans gave their lives to defeat Hitler and the Axis powers. All American stepped up to defeat defeating Hitler.
War Hero Ted Williams, And Many Others, Sacrificed Their Best Years
Players like the Tigers’ Hank Greenberg, the Braves’ Warren Spahn, and the Indians’ Bob Feller signed up for service. Spahn saw combat at the Battle of the Bulge. Feller fought on battleships in the Pacific. Williams didn’t see combat, but he gave up three of his best career years to serve his country. In fact, according to bleacherreport.com, Williams would have hit .342 with 3,452 hits, 663 home runs and 2,380 RBI if he hadn’t missed five years (two more in Korea) to wartime service. He not only gave up those career years, he did so willingly to defend our nation.
Service To Country Was More Important
According to the same source, Feller would have retired with a 362-210 record, a 3.11 ERA and 3,565 strikeouts. Spahn would have had over 400 career wins. But it wasn’t about projected numbers and sacrificing career years. It was about serving their country and doing what’s right. When the war broke out, Feller volunteered for service, “I didn’t have to [fight],” Fellar said in a 2006 interview. “I was 23 and strong-bodied…but with my father terminally ill back in Van Meter, Iowa, I was exempt from military service…It didn’t matter to me. I wanted to join the fight against Hitler and the Japanese.”
White Supremacy Dishonors War Hero Ted Williams And All Those Who Sacrificed
To watch what happened in Charlottesville last weekend could make one wonder what year it is. 1941 or 2017? Those white supremacists, who likely had relatives that fought in World War II, carried the flag that represented the very evil their relatives gave their lives for. Baseball players like Williams risked their lives because Hitler went to war in an effort to force the world to subscribe to his belief system. He lost, but there are those who want to continue the fight.
Unfortunately, these same scumbag white supremacists want to hold a rally in Boston this weekend. I gave serious thought to going to the counter-protest as a way of showing them I don’t want them here. Then I thought about it a little more. As much as I hate nazis, white supremacists, or anyone else who thinks they’re better than others because of the color of one’s skin, I’m not going to give them the pleasure. It’s exactly what these vermin want. So instead of attending a counter protest, I’m going to do the very things that war hero Ted Williams and many others risk their lives in order for me to do. It’s because of servicepeople like Williams, Feller, and Spahn that I can choose to attend a rally or not. So instead of giving attention to nazis, I’m going to do something else. Watch baseball.
Baseball Is Freedom
I’m going to watch the Red Sox destroy the Yankees at Fenway Park. I’ll watch Andrew Benintendi hit more home runs. I’ll watch Chris Sale strike out fourteen Yankees. I’m going to hang out with my friend Anthony, and we’re going to drink a lot of beer. And we’re going to do it under the retired number 9, war hero Ted Williams’ number, the man who served his country so that people like me could have the freedom so many take for granted.
Watching baseball is freedom. We proudly sing the National Anthem before each ballgame. We root for who we want. While it may not look like it, watching baseball instead of engaging white supremacists at a rally is a form of pushing them back. Baseball is freedom. When people think of freedom many think of baseball. While I’d love nothing more than to punch every nazi in the face 247,000 times each, I’m going to live by President Roosevelt’s words, “[Americans] ought to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work.” In my case, I’m taking my mind off of white supremacy; I’m taking my attention away from them.
That’s what they want and they won’t get it from me.