I love baseball. It is woven into the American fabric, rendering both the national pasttime and the nation inseparable.
Take, for example, 9/11 and baseball. I am reminded of the 2001 World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees. Arizona had won the first two games when the series returned to historic Yankee Stadium. The rubble from Ground Zero was still smoldering, fear of another attack hung over Gotham City and a soldout crowd gathered to see Game 3 on Oct. 31, 2001. President Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch — a perfect strike followed by a thunderous ovation.
But what made the pre-game ceremonies different than any in history was the curious presence of not six, but seven umpires. Normally in a World Series game, there are six umpires, three at each base, one at home plate and one each down each outfield foul line. But who was this seventh?
Later it was revealed that the seventh umpire was actually a Secret Service agent assigned to protect President Bush following 9/11. Like I said, baseball and America — interwoven.