Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00
This July 4 marks the 236th anniversary of our nation’s birth. While this national holiday invokes images of sultry temperatures and endless fireworks displays, there is definitely a connection to the notion of the American triumvirate of mom, baseball and apple pie that pops up throughout this annual celebration. Traditionally, the Fourth of July is an excuse for families to come together given how the entire country benefits from it being a federally mandated day off. And usually, moms serve as the familial engines who keep these yearly assemblages going.
Given the fact that baseball is the one major sport that outright owns this day on its schedule, there’s always been a heavy slate of games played on this day and as such, a number of historic moments associated with this date. They range from Lou Gehrig giving his heart-wrenching retirement speech at Yankee Stadium in 1939 and Yankee great Dave Righetti pitching a no-hitter for Bronx Bombers owner George Steinbrenner’s birthday 44 years later to both Nolan Ryan and Phil Niekro, (then a Yankee), recording their 3,000th strikeout in 1980 and 1984 respectively. As for apple pie, it’s less about this dessert than it is about the conspicuous consumption of food whether it’s at a local barbecue or at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest set to be staged at Coney Island next Wednesday. While nothing of this magnitude is slated for the area save for Stewart Manor’s Fourth of July parade, the small town vibe of this sacrosanct annual event is perfect in keeping with this trio of most patriotic symbols.