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July 25, 2014
By Don White
July 25, 2014
By Don White
|NY Yankee SS Derek Jeter Bunting ball|
|Jeter headed for homeplate|
Hey, atheists or non-believers in God and Jesus Christ! You use the word “hallowed” far too loosely. I also take exception to how you writers often describe your own professional buildings or offices as “hallowed.”
I take profound exception. The dictionary has two prime categories of “hallowed” and it doesn’t include baseball’s Hall of Fame in Coopersville, New York. That, despite the thousands who make once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Cooperstown and the millions of baseball fans who literally become unglued with joy when one of their idols is named a member of that elite group.
Baseball is a sport of statistics. There are kings of swat, base stealing, home runs, defensive gems, clutch hits, World Series heroics, no-hit pitchers and the like. Everything in baseball is documented; it’s there to increase your adoration, loyalty, and love for the game and for players to reminisce after age forty and say, “Gosh, what a baseball career I had! Wasn’t I something?”
I’m a huge baseball fan -- not physically, mentally; and I find myself caught up in this hoopla, too. But none of us should be so naïve as to think just because a player —even Babe Ruth — has hit the most home runs in an era or won the most games that he has achieved godhood. We reserve the word “hallowed” for religious shrines and the like.
But yesterday, they entered the name of former New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre onto the pages of Hall of Fame inductees. He and other inductees came to Cooperstown feeling great—finally their hard work and success was not only noticed, but honored, or in some cases vindicated.
I like Joe, I have his book. He was a real champion. But Torry had the audacity of calling Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame “hallowed.” Course, he’d probably call Notre Dame hallowed, too. And he’s not the only one. Players, fans, owners, and sportscasters often run out of superlatives and grab the “hallowed” word for emphasis. What has been improper verbiage in mainstream venues have been accepted as okay in sports.
What? Have these people gone mad? Have they lost sight of what “hallowed” really means? The Hall is not holy. It doesn’t warrant the “holy” or “consecrated” adjectives reserved for things of God. It’s just a commercial enterprise making money on players’ skills, reputations, and achievements and millions of impressionable fans’ gullibility.
Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame doesn’t stand on hallowed ground unless America has completely gone nuts and lost its values. Of course, that could be the case, too.
Remember, you announcers, color men, sportswriters and players. Don’t get too carried away the next time you write or speak about Cooperstown or visit that now-revered historical place. Enjoy it for what it is—a Disneyland-like assemblage of statues, pictures, recorded sound, dioramas, and other mementoes of real people, of recorded history from nostalgic summers of some of the greatest players and managers who ever lived; but in no way is it hallowed, sacred or God-connected. Often, just the opposite—with stands dotted with noisy, drunken men spouting profanity and evil far worse than “kill the umpire” amongst the beer carts and cotton candy.. . and the kids.
Baseball World, get your priorities and words straight, will you, and stop trampling on sacred ground? Baseball stars are no more than the talent in this grand menagerie of peanuts, popcorn -- and in days past -- the Cracker Jack --- world of fantasy and make believe where grown men and children step aside from their day-to-day and move into a world filled with the attractive smell of hotdogs, freshly mowed grass and, when the home team wins or your kid goes home with a cowhide ball, two or three gloriously happy hours of retreat from the mundane ordinary labors of life; and just to know America’s favorite summer pastime is there for the taking is one of the happiest releases of strife and tension this nation enjoys.