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The Passing Of An Era

2 Pages 488 Words

The term “sports hero” is somewhat of an oxymoron today. The true sports heroes, the one who played simply for the love of the game, seem to have vanished. Their heroic qualities have vanished as well. No one plays for the fun of hitting the ball, or doing your best, or for hearing the crowd cheer. No one plays to make a difference, or to be a positive role model, or to be happy with the simple fact that they are talented player. It’s all about drug abuse, drunk driving, betting and recruiting scandals, and, most disturbingly, reports of rape and other sex-related crimes (Goodman 34). It appears that sports players of today don’t have the true love for the game, which the players of the past had.
Joe DiMaggio represents a past time in baseball as a player and public figure. During DiMaggio’s playing days, he represented a great deal of love for baseball. What he brought to the game was priceless. He captured the hearts of the crowd while not exposing his own private life. Throughout the DiMaggio era, many great players emerged for the love of the game. The game of baseball did not represent money; it was a boyhood dream. This was a dream that was built on morals and dedication, not on their paycheck.
Last week, two baseball players signed a combined contract totaling $412 million. Manny Ramirez had been playing for the Cleveland Indians for four years. He showed his loyalty to his team by signing with the Boston red Sox. Alex Rodriguez had played for the Seattle Mariners for seven years. Naturally, he abandoned his team and signed with the Texas Rangers. Their skills “may well make a great athlete, but they don’t necessarily make a great person (Goodman 35).”
In the last two years, sports have become a tabloid’s fantasy. Baseball great Daryl Strawberry was caught using cocaine for the second time in three years. His addiction started in the early eighties in his rise of fame as a Mets young superstar. Thi...

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