The Yankees officially ended their Spring at West Point’s United States Military Academy, touring the campus and playing a game against the cadet’s baseball team. The Yankees may have won today’s exhibition game 10-5, but really the day was about honoring those who dedicate their lives to serving our country. The team spent the morning touring the historic campus, lunching with the cadets, and hanging out in the bleachers and dugout of the USMA. (More stories from today’s visit is available here, via yankees.com.)
And while it was nice to see the Yankees take another win (in another non-game and won’t count for anything), I am always impressed with the club’s respect for our military. They show it at every home game, honoring a veteran and active duty personnel, and taking a moment to honor all those who serve with “God Bless America” at every 7th inning stretch. Other teams jump right into “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” or something semi-relevant to their team or cheesy wedding-DJ type songs. But the Yankees always start with respect and honor.
I remember the days immediately after 9/11 when our country became united in its patriotism and baseball was a remembrance of America’s pastime. Baseball was a temporary distraction from a world that had been shaken to its core and changed forever. Baseball was consistency and competition and a nod to the stability we so desperately needed. Baseball gave people something to cheer on and hope for. Baseball reminded us that we as Americans were on a team, united together for a single cause.
And today’s visit to those who take that “team mentality” to the next level reminded me of those days. Upon graduation, the cadets go on to bring freedom and peace to countries across the globe and here in the U.S. They are our real heroes, and they deserve our respect and honor. And I, for one, am proud to follow a team that regularly shows that kind of respect and honor to our military.
So today, I honor those who have taken their time and risked their lives to serve our country, including so many in my family. Thank you for your service.