Baseball is beautiful
Letter to the Editor
To the Fighting Irish baseball team and the Notre Dame community: Please know how lucky you are.
As a 1999 graduate of Providence College, I had the opportunity to experience four great years of Big East baseball. Throughout my four years at Providence, the thing I most looked forward to each spring was the crack of the bats heard throughout campus. That sound not only signaled that winter was coming to a close, but it meant that it was time to saunter over to the field to watch the sport I love most.
And now, more than ever, I am grateful for those days. As the former assistant sports editor of Providence's school newspaper, I was able to know the ins and outs of the Friar baseball team and was right there in the thick of last year's Title IX disaster. In order to comply with the NCAA's gender equity rules, the team lost its funding and went into the '98-'99 season knowing it would be the last time they played ball as part of their team. For the seniors, it was their final chance to show what they were really made of and to be leaders for the rest of the players. As for the others, the loss of the baseball program would cause some players to turn pro early, others to transfer to other Big East and non-conference programs and still others to come to terms with no longer being a part of collegiate baseball altogether. Just when it seemed as though the team had lost everything, they proved to themselves and to the rest of the Providence College community that they were truly winners as they left a legacy in their wake. I witnessed a team whose hearts had been broken carry on an enormously successful season culminating in the ultimate victory of a Big East Championship title.
I heard that familiar, long-awaited sound — the crack of the bats — on Tuesday and again felt that burst of excitement. Yet this time, I was walking into Eck Stadium at Notre Dame, and I wasn't watching the black-and-white Friars but the blue-and-gold Fighting Irish. I was excited to be watching baseball again and, better yet, to see Notre Dame come away with a win. As a Notre Dame grad student this year, I am thankful to be able to continue being a part of the thrill of Big East baseball and to have the opportunity to watch a few of the former Friars compete as part of their new teams. Yet, at the same time, I regret that the Providence community will not be able to see their team defend their Big East title.
To the Notre Dame community: Please get out there and watch some games this season. Support your team. You would be amazed at how quickly it could all vanish. Know that for most of the players, this sport is their life. They are proud to wear those uniforms and to be a part of this school and their team, and you should be proud of them too.
To the Fighting Irish baseball team: Enjoy every minute. The joy, the tears, the sweat, the dirt, the extra innings, the close wins — even the tough losses. Imagine what it would feel like to lose it all. Be a team and work together. Know that you have an opportunity that so many people wish they had. Be confident. Set a goal to accomplish and expect nothing less.
Most of all, with the Providence College Friars being unable to defend their title, bring home a Big East Championship.
Kim S. Galipeau
Graduate Student, Sociology
March 8, 2000
All Viewpoint Stories for Friday, March 10, 2000