Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On This The Day of National Sportsmanship Day

Every athlete strives to not only do their best on and off the field, but they strive to be a good sport. Being competitive is one thing but being a sport and composing yourself in a respectful matter is another. I listed my 3 heart warming moments of an example of "Sportsmanship".

Touching Them All
Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky hit her first career home run in one of the last games of the softball season, something odd happened. She missed the bag at first and when she doubled back to touch it, her knee gave out. Her teammates were unable to help her around the bases so it looked like her only career home run would turn into a single. Then a member of the other team, a senior with knee problems of her own, said: "Excuse me, would it be OK if we carried her around and she touched each bag?" After watching this video I couldn't hold myself back from tearing up.

Even days where history is made, and even days when that history is made against you, sportsmanship reigns supreme.
Click to View Video
In 1998, Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals hit home run number 62 for the season, breaking the long standing record of 61 by Roger Maris. In the video you will see opposing players extend their hands to shake the hand of McGwire. First baseman Mark Grace starts it and all the way around the diamond ending  with catcher Scott Servais, McGwire gets congratulated by the opposing Chicago Cubs. Of course everyone remembers the embracing of McGwire & Sammy Sosa, but it was the rest of the Cubs that earned their spot on my list of "Sportsmanship". Kudos to David Levine on the great job on the video reenactment. 

Click to see 9/21/01 Mets/Braves Ceremonies
The number 1 tear jerkin moment in my lifetime was when baseball returned to New York on 9/21/2001. Old time rivals came together in a moment that was beyond baseball. A moment where life and appreciation of living the free life in America was m ore important then baseball. In this video (courtesy of MLB.com) Marc Anthony sings his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. After, the Mets & Braves came together in a line of hugs & handshakes. Putting aside their personal feelings for each other as competitors, they were able to show the world why the return of baseball was so important to New York & to the entire United States.

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