This lovely picture was taken by my friend Dave at a recent Blue Jays-Yankees game. We were sitting up in the 500 section at the Rogers Centre. He captured the ball in motion and Rios leg twisting into his swing. I am always amazed by the quality of photographs Dave takes, so please take the time to visit his Flickr page and enjoy his work.
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, which means lots of afternoon baseball, and poignant reminders of those who died in war. Canada partakes in this activity on November 11th, and this blog featured a few posts on the topic during that month. The combination of sports and war brings to mind the stories of many professional athletes who spent the 1940’s fighting overseas. My grandfather spent a portion of his time in England playing hockey with many NHL’ers, though he was only an amateur. Many of these men fought on the front lines during the war. I wonder, if a large war were to break out today (the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are obviously a smaller scale than WWII) how many of our athletes and other celebrities would line up to serve? It’s a much different question now because they are millionaires today, whereas in the 40’s they made salaries that were more in line with the average worker. It’s an intriguing question particularly since many professional athletes have the level of fitness and discipline needed to be ideal soldiers. The average Canadian or American probably doesn’t anymore. I hope we never find out.