Baseball strikes out

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

One of the most moving ceremonies this past weekend remembering the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was the pregame event at Citi Field in New York before the Major League Baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. ESPN did a great job covering all aspects of the remembrance.
A group called Tuesday’s Children, made up of youngsters who lost a parent on 9/11, took part, with each player taking the hand of a child as they came out on the field, and other children displaying a huge American flag in the outfield.
As a tribute, players on the Mets wore hats from the various first responders, hats that said “FDNY,” “NYPD,” and so forth.
But here’s where thing went south. When the game started minutes later and the Mets took the field, they all had their regular team hats on. Why? Because Major League Baseball officials promised hefty fines if they didn’t, and Mets’ management caved in. MLB has since denied threatening the fines, but why this is an issue in the first place defies description.
There are a number of causes that Major League Baseball honors. Once in a while, the players use pink bats and wear different color hats to honor the fight against breast cancer. Once a year all the players wear the same number, 42, to honor Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier 64 years ago. We’ve also seen times when the players wore green.
Once in a while, the teams wear uniforms with the name of the corresponding Negro League teams for their city. And recently, the Mets wore bright blue shirts that said “Los Mets” in honor of Hispanic Heritage Night at Citi Field.
And every now and then, the players are forced to wear the ugly throwback uniforms that their teams wore 30, 40, 50 years ago.
With all this going on, the players aren’t allowed to wear hats to honor the heroes and victims of the 9/11 terror attacks 10 years ago?
Major League baseball has committed a number of public relations gaffes over the past several years. This is just another of them. There certainly would have been no harm in allowing the players to wear the special hats. In fact, it would have given a meaningless game between two non-contenders a real purpose.
We have long been proponents of Congress repealing the baseball anti-trust exemption, which MLB has used to enhance its dictatorial ways. We call for that movement to start up again.
The players had the right idea with what they wanted to do. Too bad the folks in the MLB ivory tower, which, by the way, is in New York not that far from Ground Zero, can’t see outside their plush offices to see what’s going on in the real world.