[This is a guest post from my Uncle Mike. He’s a great man, a great Uncle, a retired Marine, and a huge fan of Baseball. He’s also the man I know as “Uncle Fun.” -Ron]

Baseball was, is, and always will be the one dependable bastion of camaraderie and commonality amongst Americans of all stripes, for it is this great game that Democrats, Republicans, Moderates and Extremists all turn to for a respite from the rigors and grind of daily life.

What adult among us does not still experience a childlike excitement and thrill as they walk up the ramp to their seats, anticipating the grandeur, the smell, the awesome majesty of the perfectly manicured grass and flawlessly smooth and cared for infield dirt that awaits their eyes?

The raspy and strong voices calling “Programs!” “Beer Here!” and yes, “Peanuts and Cracker Jacks!”… The respect shown our flag during the national anthem. The seventh inning stretch where those with even the weakest of voices summon the strength to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. The love for a game passed down from a father to his son or daughter, and onward to the next generation after that. The three hour escape into a world of balls and strikes, calls of “Safe!” and “Yer Out!”. The certainty of the home fans that the umpire must be blind… unless he makes the call for “our team!”

I am approaching 53 years of age and the years have taken a toll on much of what I thought would always stand. I am saddened by the cruelty that I see humans inflict on their fellow man. But this game that has been rightfully called our national pastime has weathered our wars, our debates, and our national tragedies. I am so grateful that I can still count on the thrilled look in my son’s eyes when he hears that “Dad just got tickets to the game!” I am grateful for sunny afternoons spent among 45,000 people who left their differences at the gate and entered into the arena of a common and shared passion.

I have played many sports and have had different interests in life, but each year that I grow older, it is this wonderful game that I played for hours on a sandlot as a young boy that has emerged as the greatest game.

It is still and always will be rightfully called “Our National Pastime.”