Richard Greene

Baseball’s opening day a return to patriotism, nostalgia, timeless family fun

Fans wait in long lines to enter the Globe Life Park long after 1st pitch on Opening Day

Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs fans had to wait in long lines to enter Globe Life Park on Opening Day.
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Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs fans had to wait in long lines to enter Globe Life Park on Opening Day.

Arlington is one of 30 places in the country to provide a respite from all the political stress that has, for the past two years, been confounding most Americans.

Whether a Republican happy to learn that the president isn’t a Russian spy or a Democrat devastated by the news, there’s relief at hand for both.

After the long absence that occurs every winter, baseball has returned and the world somehow seems right again.

“If you want to see a bunch of happy Americans, go out to Opening Day at any baseball stadium in the land.” – Ben Fountain.

Baseball historians mark the date of June 10, 1846, as when the first organized game between the New York Knickerbockers and New York Nine took place at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, N.J.

That was almost 173 years ago. Since then our country has endured the devastation of war, brutal economic depression, 34 presidential administrations, countless political upheavals, and all manner of difficulties on the journey to becoming the most successful society in human history.

Through it all, there has been one original American invention that has consistently provided a retreat from the worries and fears of the day.

“The one constant through all the years has been baseball. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again.” – Terence Mann.

Opening Day was happening this week in those 30 places across the country with all the pageantry that traditionally accompanies the occasion.

Giant American flags unfolding, honor guards marching on the field to present the colors, capacity crowds standing, along with the players, while singing our National Anthem, and the United States Air Force providing a thunderous reminder of our mighty defense of freedom — all with the backdrop of red, white and blue bunting throughout the ballparks.

Then the timeless beauty of the greatest game ever devised gets underway with the call of “play ball.”

It is the first game of the season, with 161 more to follow, on the way to the next World Series where the best of the best will attempt to emerge as the ultimate winner in the most difficult sport to master of them all.

And it will be there for us throughout the tumultuous events surrounding the determination of the Democratic leaders in Congress and their partnership with the national media continuing to undermine the will of the people that put Donald Trump in the White House in 2016.

Instead of accepting the conclusions of the most exhaustive investigation of any president in our history, they will simply not manage to turn their attention to governing our country by seeking to find ways to improve the lives of all Americans.

While that is playing out over the next six months we can retreat into a ballpark and experience the thrill of watching the few men in the whole world who have been blessed with the skills that will allow them to take their place on a Major League baseball field.

Or, if that is not as convenient across the country as it is right here in our local community, a television broadcast will provide the opportunity to retreat from the stress of watching a hate-driven, mindless obsession of political wantonness.

Since the national media has lost all creditability with their relentless bias that makes them totally untrustworthy, refrain from channel switching between innings to check on the “news.”

Doing so will ruin your opportunity to find the relief that will make for a much better day.

“Nothing in our daily life offers more of the comfort of continuity, the generational connection of belonging to a vast and complicated American family, the powerful sense of home, the freedom from time’s constraints, and the great gift of accumulated memory than does our National Pastime.” – Ken Burns.

May God bless America.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor, served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agencyand lectures at UT Arlington.