Today social media sites have been in an uproar (when aren’t they?) over what is being perceived as a slight by FOX and MLB in allegedly not airing something to honor Tony Gwynn during the All-Star game.
While I recognize Gwynn’s tremendous accomplishments on the field and off (I wrote a piece for BYB on it, REST IN PEACE, MR. PADRE), and feel that my favorite sport truly lost one of its great ambassadors with his passing, I also feel that to set aside special time during a telecast for him would be disrespectful to others just as deserving.
This past year baseball also lost Don Zimmer and Ralph Kiner. If you want the All-Star telecast to honor Gwynn, then you sure better want that same broadcast to honor “Zim” and Kiner too.
Zimmer gave 65 years to baseball, and Kiner gave well over 50 years. Neither deserves any less reverence than Gwynn.
My proposal is this: let MLB take a lesson from the Academy Awards. Each year during its annual Oscars ceremony, the Academy takes time out to honor those that have passed over the previous year. The segment is done tastefully and gives each name a proper honor.
Since the All-Star game is a once-a-year showcase for MLB, it would be fitting that during the seventh inning stretch (before or after “God Bless America”) baseball honors all of those associated with MLB that died since the previous mid-summer classic. Their names and faces, along with a brief summary of their contributions, could be projected on the stadium’s big screen. It would allow fans and family to properly honor them one more time without the perception of slighting anyone.
Yes, it’s a shame that Gwynn wasn’t given more of an honor last night, but it’s just as much a shame that neither Zimmer or Kiner, or anyone else that contributed to MLB and has since passed was not mentioned.There is an easy solution that could be employed with the next All-Star game. All MLB needs to do is look no farther than the Academy Awards to make things right.