Monday, July 11, 2011
Wait...it's not even close to the sappy Christmas season!
Here's a breaking news flash, it seems everything coming from the media these days is all gloom and doom. I'm not sure what it is about our society, our very cultural, that leads us to thirst for the negative. Don't even act like you are shocked and appalled by that characterization either.
I consider myself a very optimistic person...and even I'm guilty of the very thing!
Several years ago, I started filtering the sources of my information intake. Even that's very dangerous. Historically, I've been a proponent of the print media, but that has changed. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Tony C and I collectively decided to stop buying the local newspaper during the scrubbing of media sources process. Just too much negative, inaccurate garbage. The once honored and necessary art of investigative reporting has been dead and buried for several decades.
So why am I so upbeat today? Well, despite my media diet, I don't live in a bubble and still maintain tabs on the world we live. Last week out of New York came a story that was a shining beacon of wholesomeness in the dark pit of greed and corruption that seems to dominate many of today's headlines. Derek Jeter joined an elite club in baseball with his 3000th career hit. Only 27 other Major League ballplayers can claim that feat in the sport's long and storied history. Like a script right out of movie, the hit was also a home run...and so the mad scramble ensued for a piece of history in the left field bleachers of Yankee stadium.
Baseball memorabilia is big business. Jeter's historic ball projected to pay big. Maybe as high as $250K. Life-long Yankee fan Christian Lopez was the one standing with ball in hand when the scrum was over. He had in essence won the lottery. The big payola we all dream about.
The media was quick to arrive and question Lopez. What are you going to do with the ball now? Lopez was in the midst of his 15-minutes of Warhol fame. I'm sure the words that came out of his mouth next vastly deflated the frenzied media sharks because Lopez announced he was giving the ball back to Derek Jeter. He reasoned Jeter had worked a career for the milestone, and he had done nothing more than been there to witness. Lopez only requested, not demanded, that he be allowed to hand the ball back to the man who had hit the historic homer.
That's not a story! Where's the greed, the barter, lawsuits, the ruined life, or at least some profanity!!
I wouldn't be completely honest if I didn't admit even I waited for more. But that's how the story ends...well...almost. The Yankee faithful cheered and saluted Lopez in the 8th inning when he announced he was giving the ball back to Jeter on the stadium video board. Lopez was an instant hero in the eyes of many worldwide (with the major exception being the greater-Boston area where any Yankee news is bad news). But the Yankees didn't let the moment go unheralded, and Lopez was showered with a number of gifts from the club including primo-luxury seats for the rest of the season.
I like to believe...want to believe...that Christian Lopez is the epitome of most human beings, and the overload of dirty laundry we're saturated with daily are stories about the vast minority of our kind. Sure. We're all capable of less-than-honorable actions, but when the chips are down, when the spotlight is on a person's true character for often but a fleeting moment...I like to think most people would shine bright like Christian Lopez and take the honorable path. We too would just give the ball back with no thought of personal reward.
After all, that's the path that pays far more importantly over the haul of eternity.