Little did I know when a very dear US Army veteran friend invited me to the Phillies-Marlins game in Miami last night that I would be a witness to some pretty amazing baseball history. Initially, Dave’s (a passionate Mets fan) motivation was to experience Phillies baseball with a crazy Philly sports fan like me, having seen me in action during Eagles football season. But it turned out we both got so much more out of the bargain when Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game:
And like a true gentleman, he gave credit to his catcher, Carlos Ruiz, stating that he “followed his lead”:
How refreshing to watch an accomplished professional athlete who attained the pinnacle of success in his particular position refrain from self-aggrandizement in favor of sharing due credit with his teammate! It was an incredible evening for a Phillies fan, with my only complaint being directed toward the Marlins organization, for 1.) Failing to acknowledge our men and women in uniform this Memorial Day weekend, and 2.) Failing to play even one patriotic American song to go along with the fireworks display afterwards. I very much enjoy Latin music, but on this weekend in particular, much like Independence Day, they could have dedicated at least a few minutes to a tribute to the USA and those who’ve honorably served.
This is no way diminishes Halladay’s achievement, and I am thrilled to have had the chance to watch it live and in person. I just hope the Marlins organization won’t make the same mistake again when presented with the perfect opportunity to honor America (and really, what’s more American than baseball?) and the US Military. Maybe next time, instead of handing out tambourines, they could put the money toward hiring a band to remind baseball fans how lucky we are to live in this country, and to have men and women willing to put on the uniform to defend it.
Update: The Marlins organization responds to my email –
Thank you very much for taking the time to write your comments to us. Since the office Memorial Day is Monday, May 31, all baseball team will be paying their tribute on that day. Our team will be wearing a special cap in honor of all past/present military personnel. We do apologize but that you for your comments.
I politely thanked them for their quick response and stated that because it really is an entire weekend, I still believe the Marlins could have employed patriotic music for the fireworks and acknowledged any veterans in the crowd. While it’s great that all MLB teams are paying tribute on Monday, would it have been too much to ask for the Marlins organization to do something special for our troops last night? A few minutes of Stars and Stripes Forever and America The Beautiful would have nicely preceded the Latin music. Oh well.
Update Two: I should have noted in the update above that I copied and pasted the email from the Marlins organization exactly as it was written, thus the erroneous usage of the word “that” instead of “thank” is not a typo on my part (although I certainly catch plenty of my own mistakes when I write commentary!). My guess is that the person writing it was so quick to fire off a response that she didn’t take the time to proofread prior to sending. Or maybe her nails got in the way (something I can also relate to). I chose not to post her name with the email because most likely she was simply parroting a contrived response from the higher-ups, and is not the one responsible for the regrettable Memorial Day Weekend omission.
On a related note, I am also disappointed in the Marlins for cashing in on Halladay’s perfect game by selling unused tickets. Guess they had to profit from it somehow, since very few fans actually attend the games (which is a shame). This just after they did a very classy thing by giving Halladay the pitching rubber as a souvenir. It’s too bad the Marlins haven’t garnered the passionate following of other baseball teams like the Phillies, whose every game is pretty much standing-room-only. So why exactly are they investing a brand-new stadium?