This Day In History – Two Different Looks At Character
How did we get to the point that in America we are staging an impeachment with the lack of evidence and lack of character by the characters involved? That's complicated but we can see in a broad sense where we were and where we have come to be.
Sports history offers a symbolic peek at our character's national decline.
On this day in History -
January 21, 1960, St. Louis Cardinals' baseball player, Hall of Famer Stan Musial insisted he take a $20,000 pay cut. What? A cut? Yes, a cut.
Musial believed he was overpaid in 1957 and 1958, and said his salary should be based on his play the previous season. Pride, honor, character, professional fairness. Wow. Musial was a World War II Navy veteran, 3 time World Series champion, a 24 time all-star, 7 time batting champion, a 3 time MVP and an all-time quality guy.
In 2011, President Obama presented Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award that can be bestowed on a person by the United States Government. Now there's your sports role model.
Thirty years later, on this day in History -
January 21, 1990, American tennis player John McEnroe was disqualified and expelled from the Australian Open for using abusive language towards an official. He was the first person ever expelled from the tournament.
He wasn't a bad player, History.com notes just how good he was...as a player. "over his career, he would win 17 total Grand Slams, including nine in men’s doubles and one in mixed doubles. His Davis Cup record was 41-8 in singles and 18-2 in doubles, and he helped the United States win five Cups."
But he was often as big a jerk as he was a talent, "McEnroe was dubbed “Superbrat” by the British tabloids at the age of 20 and was famous on the tour for his constant arguments and badmouthing of umpires and linesmen."
Two champions. Two career opportunities to display the values and character traits that all parents preach their kids that sports helps to develop. One hero showing his best. One anti-hero acting his worst.
Conclusive of anything? No, but certainly interesting to consider, considering what is going on in the Nation's Capitol making history today, Where is character today?