Sports & Society

We had recess in the gym all day after lunch. It felt like the greatest day of my life. Boy was I wrong.

September 11, 2001. Mets reliever Pedro Beato, eight years older than I, was in high school, where I currently reside.

Beato was informed on the news and went up to the roof of the Brooklyn school where he and his friend witnessed what the world wras closely observing only miles away from his brown, numb eyes.

Pedro Beato in 2008 Beato in 2011

As the rest of the country panicked, called, and cried with bitten fingernails and splotches of eye makeup, one boy stared at the World Trade Center as it slowly collapsed.

There was nothing he could do but stare helplessly. All the Marvel Superheroes agreed to take their day off. However, new superheroes emerged. 343 Firefighters & 60 police officers died that day.

At that moment, in his apocalyptic stare, was Pedro Beato wandering when  baseball Winter workouts were? I sure hope not.  Did Beato know he was going to be in the majors in eight years? I doubt it.

3,519 days and 9 innings later (I counted by hand) Beato was handed the game ball and was told to pitch for the team he grew up watching. 

It was just before, in the 9th inning when it happened. Fans checked their Androids, Blackberries, and iPhone's and I guess two other different kinds of phones. Fans refreshed their pages, with limited bars as they peeked up to the game from the their phone instead of the usual opposite. The Social Media at work. One section at a time started chanting "U-S-A, U-S-A" a chant that usually dies out after out of personal embarrassment unless at a Springsteen concert. Not here though. The sellout of 45,713 were heard loud and clear.

From the shaking Citizens Bank Liberty Bell to the rumbling toilets in section 103, (Philly Cheese Steaks...ouch) the scene was moving, literally.

One chant. In Harmony. That night, Pedro Beato threw three scoreless innings of relief, packing America's pride, past, and future in every pitch.

Sunday night, it seemed like July 4th came two months early this year. A common mission. A common goal. A common chant. A common result. 

While the NFL alone, generates billions of billions dollars, sports are just a game. Sometimes it takes a scenario like Sunday Night to realize this, as fans weren't checking if NL East rival Atlanta Braves won their game.

The fans at that game will remember that moment when they hugged Dave, the annoying, season ticket holder who always goes to the bathroom every other inning and makes you get up instead of shifting your legs to the side of your choice.

We learned that sports unites us. It brings us close as we root for the home team, and who knows, maybe by the end of the game you'll end up hugging Dave.


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Comment #1 has been removed
May 4, 2011  03:01 AM ET

May 4, 2011  05:29 PM ET

Nice blog, Adam...


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