When I was a kid, baseball was America's game. My memories linger around visions of classic summertime Americana; hot dogs on the grill, cold beer (or in my case Coca-Cola), sweet apple pie, and Vin Scully on the call from Dodger Stadium.
Sports is about putting all sorts of people in the spotlight. It's about proving that you don't need a fancy degree or rich father to catapult yourself to fame -- you just need talent and a good attitude.
In 1995, I was heading up the documentary division of Turner Broadcasting. One of the docs that I commissioned and executive produced was nominated for an Oscar and I attended with Hank Aaron and his wife...
Forget steroids. Forget Frank McCourt's mismanagement of the Dodgers. The biggest scandal in baseball at the moment is the Baseball Hall of Fame's failure -- for the fourth time -- to induct Marvin Miller, who freed players from indentured servitude.
Few athletic stars today fear taking stands because of the potential ridicule and societal backlash. If pioneers of the past were afraid of the establishment would such celebrations like the Civil Rights Game be possible today?
Rather than dwelling on the shortcomings of our athletic heroes fed by the "build them up, tear them down" media culture, perhaps we should celebrate those stars who can inspire our children to also give of themselves to others.