I have only done this once before and really do not plan on doing it that often, but I wanted to make note of two events that took place during the baseball playoffs. Often we see our athletes act in ways we would never wish for our children. We hear about drugs, greed, infidelity, and sometimes even worse. And just as we note the bad decisions our heroes make, we need to applaud the great ones.
The first took place immediately after the San Francisco Giants defeated, for the last time, Bobby Cox and the Atlanta Braves. Cox has been the manager of the Braves for as long as I can remember. In a game where teams go through managers every two years and teams even more frequently, Cox was a mainstay in Atlanta and in baseball. Appropriately so, the Giants (and Braves) gave Cox a standing ovation after the game. Recognizing one the baseball’s all time great managers. In Judaism we call that Kavod HaRav (respect for the Rabbi). The gesture, especially from the opposing team in a moment that was theirs to celebrate, was a great one. The Giants are a class act. Read more here http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/story/14116582/giants-give-cox-proper-send-off-no-really.
The second took place right after Ian Kinsler (Jewish) and the Texas Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to clinch a second round match up against the Yankees. To is customary for the players, managers, and others in the organization to celebrate advancement in the playoffs by spraying beer and champagne on each other. Players get drenched in the suds and often wear goggles while going nuts. It is well documented that star outfielder, possible AL MVP, Josh Hamilton has had a battle with alcohol and drugs. Hamilton made an impressive decision to sit out the festivities that involved alcohol. But his teammates expressed his importance to the team by surprising him with bottles of ginger ale. Hamilton in fact got to join the party. Read more here http://bleacherreport.com/articles/489880-texas-rangers-popping-pop-instead-of-champagne-for-josh-hamilton. The respect his fellow teammates and the organization had for Hamilton and his situation.
As Jews, we should really take note of such wonderful displays of respect. We should remember that when we treat our family, neighbors, and teachers.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
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