Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY) Testimony at the Steroid Hearing
3/25/2005 2:22 PM
Byline: Mike Cunningham
Perhaps if James Earl Jones spoke these words, they'd be stapled on every childs bedroom door. Love the game. Hate the players.
Very Rarely do moments on C-Span make you cry. Maybe when you might have seen Mattie Stepanek on a book tour. You wouldn't think someone talking about baseball would make you cry. But this one did. And I wasn't the only one. My sister a baseball fan for sure, but not as big as her father or her brother or her husband. She called me up after the testimony and asked had I seen it and did I cry. She even said, "if he runs for President, I'd vote for him." That's my SISTER. She asks why no one else has publicised his comments. I don't know. But HammRadio.com will. Here they are in their entirety:
Congressman Serrano's Comments at March 17th Baseball Hearing
Source: Serrano (D-NY)
?Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was just going to make two comments very briefly. The first is a request, which probably falls more on the shoulders of Mr. Sosa and Mr. Palmeiro than anybody else. If we talk about an education program for young people, please remember that according to statistics, I think that 40 percent of all professional ball players from the rookie leagues up are Latin Americans. And so an educational program needs to include outreach to the Dominican Republic, to Venezuela, to Mexico, and to other places in Latin America. There have already been scandals reported about signing as free agents people in different parts of Latin America who are being beefed up and hurt with drugs. And so I hope that would happen.
And secondly, I hope that as one of the last speakers today, you see us for who we are. I?m not a member of this committee. The chairman and the ranking member gave me the privilege of being here today because I, like so many of these people on this panel, are baseball fanatics.
For me, baseball is not a game. It?s a passion. We may be looked at and some reporters may see us as politicians having another hearing, but the truth is that we?re concerned about a game we love. When Mr. McGwire and Mr. Sosa took us on that ride that summer, that wasn?t just hitting homeruns, that was a country hanging on to heroes. When Mr. Palmeiro -- I will watch you this summer as you become only the fourth player joining Aaron and Murray and Mays to get 500 homeruns and 3,000 hits. As a Latino, I feel proud, and as an American, I?ll be excited.
Mr. Canseco, I wish I could have helped you get those 38 homeruns to reach 500. You stopped at 462. Perhaps baseball stopped you, you claim at times. And Mr. Schilling, even though you did it to my Yankees, you?re still my hero.
That?s who you are. You are not just normal, regular people. It?s not the kids who look at you alone. That?s the excuse we use, saying ?this autograph is for my son.? But it?s for me! I already signed up for Major League game day audio for my computer. I already brought my first 25 packs of baseball cards for this year to add to the closet full of baseball cards that I have at home.
Mr. McGwire, I?ll never sell your rookie card. I?ll leave it to my children and my grandchildren because you?re heroes. There?s no price on my love of this game, and so I hope that when you leave here today and think about it tomorrow and the next day, that you not think of us as another legislative committee. I would hope that you think of us as no different as the people you see in the stands. We?re baseball fans who love this game, and we?re terrified of what could happen to it.
I don?t like the fact that you?re here. I don?t like to see the breakup of the ?Bash Brothers? in front of me. I don?t like the fact that Mr. Sosa hasn?t smiled that famous smile. I don?t like the uneasiness of all of you today. You shouldn?t be here. Circumstances put you here. Please save the game. Without this game, this country is in deep trouble and I?d like to yield now to Mr. Waxman.?
Reminds you of Field of Dreams right? Here is what James Earl Jones says as Terrence Mann:
Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.