In light of the Penn State scandal, my friend, the brilliant young writer Evan Weiner, wrote an outstanding article about how, we, as a society, worship athletes and celebrities. I read the story with great interest.
You know, I am as guilty as all of you. In my time I too have idolized athletes who achieve great things because they have enjoyed bigger growth and physical prowess that allows us to vicariously live through their achievements.
We look at the guy, or girl who can run faster, coach a winning team, sink baskets with consistent precision, or hit a home run more often and farther than ever before. We even adore the beautiful actor/actress who gives a great and lasting performance.
This is fun!
However, they are not real heroes. They are manufactured. Their contribution to society is minimal and yet we attribute to them knowledge and understanding they do not possess.
Now, there are thousands of people who have contributed to our greater good and benefit. They are heroes! So, I have selected a few who might make up my All-Time Celebrity team. Understand, there are too many others to name who are also taken for granted... you might immediately think of others. For example, the inventors of the paper clip, the rubber band stick-its easily come to mind.
However, this is my column, so I decide. Here's what I have done. Play along with me Please.
I am creating the first United States versus the World All-Star Baseball Game. Each team is made up of very well known as wells as little known people who have made an impact over many eons on our lives.
Before I submit my lineup, let me tell you who the officials are:
The umpires all bring vast experience to the game.
Behind Home Plate will be Mahatma Ghandi, the great pacifist who taught the world how to win confrontations peacefully. At First Base, will be that great negotiator Martin Luther King. He was able to bring dignity and peace in a troubled world to an entire Race. At Third Base, My arbiter would be Nelson Mandella. Even from behind prison bars, he was able to resist tyranny and bring about change.
For the United States team my lineup would be as follows:
Leading off will be Rosa Parks. She can wait out any pitcher and work him for a walk.
Batting Second would be Jay Edgar Hoover. He will also be my catcher due to his ability to keep people from stealing. Batting Third. As my designated hitter, would be Steve Jobs. He can figure out anything the pitcher can throw... look what he did with the Mac, the Ipad, the Iphone and the Ipod.
In Fourth Position, I would have either Linus Yale Jr., or Sr. Based on what they have done, they can easily get a Lock on anything the pitcher might throw. As my Fifth Batter, I would have either of the Wright Brothers, Orville, or Wilbur. Once they get on base they can really fly.
Batting Sixth, I think I'll use Albert Einstein. He can quickly calculate the curvature and arc of the ball timing it to hit to any field. Batting Seventh, I was going to insert Helen Keller into the lineup, but realizing she could not quite visualize each pitch, instead, I placed Samuel Finley Breeze Morse there. I'm sure during his time at bat, the pitcher will signal what he plans to throw and Morse will be ready.
My Eighth, of course, is Thomas Alva Edison. Each time he's up, it's an illuminating at Bat. Last, but not least in the lineup is comedian and ventriloquist Paul Winchell. He has lots of heart and there will be nothing Artificial about his hitting. Paul, as we know, invented the Artificial Heart.
She's not batting, instead the manager of my team is Helen Keller. After all, when told what is happening and the team needs direction, there's no one better to transmit the hand signals.
I'd have Ben Franklin coaching at first. He has proven he can come up with some electrifying plays. With men on base, he'll flying like a kite and maybe even pull off some lightening double steals. Young Mark Zukenberg as my third base coach will figure out the best way to get runners home for a score.
Oh yes! I forgot my manager and how could I. For me Bill gates would be the man. He, as much as anyone can figure out the intricacies of any play necessary for victory... and my bullpen coach is Alexander Graham Bell. Nobody better to man the phones when we need a relief pitcher to come in.
The opposition is pretty tough. There are scholars, artists, inventors and politicians galore. Deciding on my first team was quite difficult. I'm sure you may have many other selections.
The manager of my World Team would be Sir Winston Churchill. No matter how far behind the team might be, he would hang in and figure a way to win.
To be the first base coach on the World team is Mother Theresa. She was a unanimous choice, because nobody can comfort a runner who has been thrown out and is in pain better than this wonderful Saintly
The World Team leadoff Batter will be the Russian Vladimer Barmin. Inventer of the first Rocket Launch Complex. His bat would give pitchers fits if he were to lay down a bunt. England's Roger Bacon, the inventor of the magnifying glass, has a good eye as to what pitches to take, or not take.