Saturday, April 15, 2017


(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
When I bought the tickets for my oldest son and I to go see the Yankees play the Cardinals, I didn't know it was Jackie Robinson Day.  I didn't think about it.  In fact, the only real reason why we were going was because my kid has a thing for the Cardinals, and he wanted to see 2 "old school" teams face off. Plus, he likes the whole 'American plays National' game element and so, we went for it.

I wanted to see Matt Holliday play against his old team, but he was scratched due to back soreness. I didn't know that had happened either... my kid told me. 

"How do you know?" I asked. 

"Snapchat, dad... Snapchat."

In between trying to figure out what Snapcat was (kidding, I actually know) and walking to our seats, I saw the TVs on in the stadium and it became reality.  It was Jackie Robinson Day.  What a great day it is. Equality... players all wearing 42.  For a moment, in this crazy world with war threats, hate and uncertainty in America, seeing every player standing for the National Anthem wearing 42 put me at ease.  The man went through hell and back all his life, played his heart out through the toughest of times and I thought for a second... What would Jackie say today if he were alive to witness this game?  Would he feel uncomfortable with it all? Would be smile?  We know that he is a symbol of not only greatness, but standing up for yourself, for equality for all. But I wondered... would this be what he wanted?

I don't know the answer. I can't speak for him. I can only speak for me.  I stood there with my son, just now learning about all of this stuff in a much more intense nature than ever in school and in life at 14 years old, and I put my arm around him. I smiled as I looked at the flag... as I saw guys like Starlin Castro and Ronald Torreyes stand proudly with #42 on their backs. 

Adam Hunger/Getty Images
I watched guys like CC Sabathia look to the sky, and there was a moment... I was proud of everything... yet, I know and understand that it was just a symbol... and we as a nation have a lot of work still to do.  But for our children to witness it... it was great to see.

I watched that magic translate to CC Sabathia today as he wore his Jackie Robinson cleats.  7.1 innings pitched. He allowed just 3 hits, and 1 run and struck out 6. He looked great! 

I watched an incredible double from Torreyes as he slid around the tag and even though the Cardinals reviewed it... they came up short. Torreyes made it!

And I watched my son, talking to the couple next to him about players and rattling off stats and talking about why he appreciates the Cardinals and their history, but will root for the Yankees today.  He spoke of CC as if he was his hero. After all, he met him a few years ago and still talks about it.  He "felt bad" for Chris Carter for striking out 4 times, but was happy for him that he got an RBI single.  And for me... there was nothing better than to look at my son, a white kid, not see color... not care about race, but instead just rooting hard for athletes.  I don't know... maybe it's me getting older... I'm more emotional these days as my family is growing up... but the whole thing was touching... touching enough that I needed to share it all with my BYB family after today's game.

Julie Jacobson/AP
In the end, if you've never gone to a Jackie Robinson Day, I encourage you to go. And do me this favor... don't just go see the game... SEE THE GAME, and all it's surroundings.  Soak it in. I mean REALLY soak it all in.  It's uplifting, it's touching and I was proud, very proud to be sitting with my son in a free America at a Yankees, Cardinals ball game with both teams wearing 42 of the great Jackie Robinson.

If there was one thing I took away from today's game, it was that we are doing something right. Through all the turmoil and chaos and hate... we are really doing something right. I'm proud of that... I just wish we could keep moving in that positive direction.

More on today's game from Suzie Pinstripe soon on Bleeding Yankee Blue.  For now... off to dinner with my family.

Happy Saturday.

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