|Corey Patterson’s walk-off home run Saturday|
|Catcher Jonathan LeCroy mobbed by teammates after the daring suicide squeeze|
walk off is a game-ending play whereby the home team captures a one-run win from the visiting team. We are all familiar with the baseball sagas in movies and on TV where the hero (usually aging and/or unlikely) slams one out of the park with a 3-2 count to win the game, capture the pennant, win the girl, and capture the audience’s heart in one mighty swing. There were at least five walk-offs in Saturday’s Major League contests. One was a home run in the 14th inning by Corey Patterson that gave the Toronto Blue Jays a 9-8 14th inning victory over the Chicago White Sox. But even more intriguing and perhaps more memorable was a bases-loaded suicide squeeze bunt by Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan LeCroy that snatched scraped out a 3-2 victory by that team over the San Francisco Giants. It’s why I love baseball!
Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer. People head for the shore and the mountains the weekend before, or plan major picnics or home improvement projects. In my home community of Landisville and neighboring Salunga there are miles of yard sales up and down Main Street and Harrisburg Pike and many of the side streets that feed off of that route. This year Dianne and I escaped it all to head to the Shenandoah Valley for a little alone time before the commencement of a summer that may be as busy as winter and spring has been. But I hope all of us take some time today to pause and pray and thank those countless service persons – veterans and those who continue to be in harm’s way that do battle to preserve a tenuous freedom on a planet where the forces of extremism and autocracy and political lunacy keep our world from knowing genuine peace. Without the sacrifice of these dedicated citizen soldiers, we would sleep less securely at night and would find that the predators of the world would be destroying human liberty. Thank you for your sacrifices.
Joplin, Missouri remains in our attention, as it should. This is the deadliest season for tornadoes since 1950. Even as they finish the efforts to local survivors or missing persons who are now quite possibly dead, the citizens of that devastated community (and others like it) must begin the difficult work of rebuilding their communities and their shattered lives. We continue to be a nation rich in benevolence and compassion. That has been tapped heavily in the past year by places like Haiiti and Japan. May we extend the same intentional and continuous assistance to our fellow citizens here in the US, as well. One less Major League baseball ticket or new electronic device or day of vacation or an evening out on the town would provide a lot of resources to help alleviate the suffering of those folks, and give them a foundation for new hope.