It’s no secret that I am a supporter of Yale’s sports teams and individual scholar-athletes. In season, on many weekends, you can find Marta and me at the fields or courts or rink or other parts of the athletic complex, cheering on the Bulldogs at every chance we get. (On the topic of bulldogs, our Havanese, Portia, recently was invited by Handsome Dan to be an ambassador for canine rescue and adoption. Although she is a bit shy around crowds, she loves a good game—and a good cause—and she happily signed on.)
All of this made the past few days especially exhilarating for us, with a big matchup for field hockey (against Harvard), the first home game of the football season (against Cornell), and numerous other scores and results to follow—from sailing to soccer to cross-country . . .
But the highlight of the weekend for fans of Yale blue was something a bit different, a competition where the final score meant far less than the bigger picture. On Saturday, our varsity baseball team took to the diamond against Wesleyan for an evening of tribute to the two universities’ very first baseball game, 150 years ago almost to the day. Maybe it was the guest appearance by former Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent, a 1963 graduate of Yale Law School, or the camaraderie that characterized the competition—or maybe it was the vintage uniforms donned by both teams for the occasion—but something about the night’s events seemed to transcend both time and sport. Athletics is an integral part of the Yale experience, and our scholar-athletes go on to excel and lead in all walks of life, but the most enduring aspects of competition come not from victory but from shared experience—a valuable lesson for us all.