It used to be a badge of honor to have served in the Armed Forces and even stars like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio did their time. Does it bother you at all that this new crop of ballplayers has never served and probably never will?
While serving in our nation’s armed forces may still be seen as a badge of honor for Americans, it does not bother me one bit that modern day baseballers don’t take part. I haven’t ever taken part either, so why would it bother me that they don’t?
I am a big believer in sticking with what you’re good at. If you happen to be really good at throwing 90 mph splitters to Big Leaguers, then please, focus on throwing 90 mph splitters to Big Leaguers. If you’re really good at leading groups of armed men through hostile urban environments, then please, focus on leading groups of armed men through hostile urban environments.
In my opinion, one of the greatest tragedies in baseball history is missing out on the golden years of baseball production from the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Bob Feller and many more. Think of how much better their already herculean numbers would be had they not taken a break to join the military ranks!
Look, I’m no dummy. I understand that their collective decision to leave baseball for the armed forces came at a poignant time in history — a time when the entire future of the planet rested on defeating the Axis Powers. It was either defeat evil incarnate (y’know, the guys killing innocent people en masse) or succumb to the insanity of megalomaniac, intolerant tyrants.
It was also a time before the internet, before instant access, when no one could see what was behind the curtain. Looking back, one could even say the US Government used such high profile athletes as pawns to get more everyday joes to enlist. Heck, if Teddy Ballgame is serving, then so should I!
But those days are no more. It’s hard to keep any sort of secret and when the wars we are fighting are against invisible enemies in caves we can’t see and in countries rich with oil where we probably shouldn’t be anyway, then it’s pretty hard to convince somebody he should give up his talent, his career, his life.
As far as I know, our military isn’t hurting for more participation. With smart bombs and drones and missiles more accurate than a Greg Maddux two-seam fastball, not to mention the bazillions of taxpayer dollars regulated for military spending, I think it’s best that our Matt Hollidays and Matt Kemps keep their bodies where they belong: in the outfield.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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