When you think about freedom, you think about being able to walk down the street and enjoy the sights and the sounds; take a drive to anywhere across this great nation of ours and enjoy every aspect of it; go to a ball game with friends and family and join thousands of others that might be from different walks of life but have the same interest in common; to root for the home team, or maybe even the visiting team, depending on their preference. But if you really look at the opportunity we all share to live in harmony, one of the greatest men who helped to make this a reality and someone that I am forever grateful to is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, for paving the way for all of us to enjoy such freedoms.
Now, we can not take away the many sacrifices that our armed forces and veterans have made to protect us all from the people that want to destroy the way we live, but for the purpose of this post I wanted to honor a man that stood up to adversity and fought for civil rights between whites, blacks and people from all walks of life, that they may be equal, and grow and live together without discrimination. Dr. King knew that this great nation of ours was missing something, and when he made that march to Washington, he changed not only a Nation, but a World.
We see that evidence in our own backyard, in other nations, especially in our National Pastime. In Baseball, you see that right away, with players coming from all over the world, to join and compete with fellow athletes for a common goal; and yes they may not always have great harmony amongst the teams, but they all have the same opportunities to develop and grow together.
No longer are the teams segregated like they were in the 1940′s when Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to break the color barrier in the major leagues. Robinson’s courage also paved the way for players like Roberto Clemente, who was the first Latin American superstar in Major League Baseball and lived his life giving back to others and a symbol of Latin American pride. Masanori Murakami, who made his debut in 1964 with the San Francisco Giants, was the first ever Japanese baseball player to make his mark on the game.
The sacrifices that these and many men and women have made, and the willingness of one man to push back the norm, changed the way most if not all of us look at each other. We have come a long way as a nation, as a sport, and as we continue to move forward, the greatest gift that we can share with the next generation is the life and courage of all the brave men and women that have fought for our freedoms especially Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Happy Birthday to a Great American and a man that forever changed the landscape of our great nation: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.