Cleat Geeks

Goodyear Ballpark Honors Veterans

I love baseball. In my opinion it is the best sport in the world bar none. I also love the United States of America. I don’t always agree with every policy or every law,but it is still in my opinion, the best country to live in bar none. Therefore, when you combine them together in celebration it is a win win for everyone involved.

Over the past 2 years I have been to every spring training facility in the Cactus League except 1. Yet of those visited stadiums, only 1 of them goes out of their way to honor the United States Veterans. Between the bottom of the 1st inning and the top of the 2nd inning the public address announcer always asks for the Veterans in attendance to stand. It is a simple gesture, but it always gets a deserving loud crowd response.WWImemorial2

Goodyear Ballpark also goes a step further to honor our Veterans. Directly behind home plate in section 112 is a memorial seat that is roped off and always stays empty. Right beside that seat location there is a perminate plaque that was dedicated on February 28th, 2014. The black and gray plaque has the POW MIA symbol at the top of it with the words YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN directly under the symbol. The plaque then reads, “Since World War I, more than 92,000 American soldiers are unaccounted for. This unoccupied seat is dedicated to the memory of the brave men and women and to the sacrifices each made in serving this country.”

Sometimes when we are being entertained we forget that gracious men and women sweat, bled and died so that we can have the freedoms we enjoy at ballparks, stadiums and arenas around this great nation. When I saw this plaque and empty seat I reflected on exactly what it meant. Then, as the game went on, I used my freedoms provided to me by those brave soldiers to root on my favorite player, and boo some of them as well.

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