Derek Jeter and the Relevance of the Game

On SaturdayDerek Jeter joined the elusive 3,000 hit club by belting a homerun. Getting to 3,000 hits and would have been noteworthy even if he had dribbled a lazy single into the outfield, but reaching the milesne by going yard just accented the accompishment even more. In fact, Jeter is only one of two people whose 3,000th hit was a homerun. Sure, this is a stat that when you look at it really doesn’t mean much but it still brings a bit more pomp to the whole thing. This makes me think of the lucky fan who managed to catch the revered ball and thusly gave it back to Jeter rather than make a quick (and rather shiny penny).

The 23 year-old Christian Lopez found himself in the spotlight after getting posession of the ball. Christian being a die hard Yankees fan decided that giving the ball back to the first-ballot hall of famer was the right thing to do. And right he was.

Since he made the descison to not hold onto the memorabila people have been calling him a great guy or an idiot. How could he not pocket the ball and collect the substantial amount of money he would undoubtedly get? What’s wrong with this guy? Well, nothing is really wrong with him at all.

Lopez showed on Saturday what love of the game is all about. In a world where money makes everything go round (this definately holds true when it comes to the business of baseball) he decided that instead of perpetuating this attitude he would give the ball back to the man who achieved this accomplishment and has made people forget about the awful things in their life if even only for a few hours. It seemed like Christian was almost paying Jeter back for the entertainment he has provided him. And while I have no way to be sure of this, I bet that Jeter felt pretty good to make someone’s day pretty amazing. Which I guess is the point of sports in general. To have a good time and get lost in a game for a little bit.

Look, I think we all know how trivial things like sports are when you look at them held up to all the strife of the world. Losing a game and thusly losing your cool because of it doesn’t carry the same levity as getting diagnosed with a sickness or seeing someone you love die. Everyone knows this and know one really shys away from this fact. But when a team loses it can feel like the world is ending. I believe we think like this because while we can’t control the outcomes of these games, we get over the loses. It’s a lot harder to get over a death. But games, no problem. And that’s not a bad thing.

The feelings we feel because the home team couldn’t scrounge up a few extra runs to win the game allow us to feel bad and possibly learn how to deal with the really bad stuff. Losing in game 7 won’t make cancer any less awful, but maybe you’ll have built up a bit of something from watching these games and that will help you get through your “big deal”. Because, even though your team may hve lost this year, they’re comming back to play again next spring. And you’re going to want to be there for when they go all the way. So use that added, all be it kind of silly, sentiment during your battle. It could help.

And it’s good to jsut get away from the muck that is living everyday. That triangle shaped field provides a reason to push the other things aside. That’s a pretty wonderful thing if you ask me.

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