This weekend, America turns 240 years old, guys, and because there’s no better way to celebrate the land of the free and the home of the brave than with beer and baseball, I figured the best thing to get you amped for this weekend’s festivities would be to remind you why the U.S.A. kicks serious ass!
Rather than give you some inspirational speech like the President did in the movie Independence Day, how about we smile at the most patriotic MLB moments ever? Yeah, that’ll suffice.
Rick Monday Saves The Flag
Action heroes in fake movies might be better known for saving America from trouble, but let’s go ahead and put former MLB outfielder Rick Monday in that same category.
During a game in 1976 at Dodger Stadium against the L.A. Dodgers, the then Chicago Cubs player noticed protestors rush the field and attempt to burn the American flag.
Nope, Monday wasn’t having any of it, as he sprinted to the two people and ripped the stars and stripes from them before they could light it one fire.
Boston is David Ortiz’s “Fucking City”
Once again, America turned to baseball to help heal the wounds of another mindless terrorist attack, with this one coming in Fenway Park following the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013.
Addressing the entire audience—both in the stands and on TV—future Hall of Famer David Ortiz didn’t hold back his feelings or passion for his “fucking city,” delivering an unfiltered speech that will be remembered for the ages.
Boston Strong, bros!
Mike Piazza’s Home Run Lifts The Big Apple
Oh, you don’t think that sports can lift the spirits of millions, huh? Then you obviously don’t remember the way the entire city of New York felt following the memorable home run from former New York Mets’ All-Star catcher Mike Piazza.
Playing in the first sporting event in the Big Apple since the devastating terrorist attacks on 9/11—just 10 days later—Piazza blasted a two-run dinger to dead centerfield in the bottom of the 8th inning to give his team a 3-2 lead, winning by the same score.
It’s OK if you get chills after witnessing this one, guys, it’s expected.
We Killed That Osama Bastard
The evil mastermind behind the attacks on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers on September 11th, when news filtered out that U.S. troops had killed Osama bin Laden, it was one of the only times that a nation should celebrate another man’s death.
And when fans at the Philadelphia Phillies game heard the shocking news, rejoicing was the first thing on their mind, simply chanting, “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” for the national TV audience to hear.
Lou Gehrig’s The “Luckiest Man On The Face Of The Earth”
Occurring on July 4th, 1939, when Lou Gehrig stepped to the microphone to deliver his passionate speech to the Yankee Stadium crowd, it symbolized everything it meant to don the Yankee pinstripes.
It’s one of the most emotional speeches in sports and U.S. history, as Gehrig proclaimed that he was the “luckiest man on the face of the earth” that day, even though he was retiring from the game he loved because of a life-ending disease, ALS.
For so long, The Iron Horse lived the American Dream, so it’s fitting his famous speech came on the 4th of July.
Dubbya Fires A Strike
With the entire country searching for some symbol of hope as we all mourned the disgusting terrorist acts on September 11th, who would’ve figured that President George W. Bush would be that figure—throwing a baseball, no less.
Tossing the first pitch prior to Game 3 of the World Series that year between the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks, Dubbya showed everyone around the world that the U.S. wasn’t afraid of their bullshit, as he fired a perfectly thrown strike, earning a rousing ovation.