On this day 24 years ago, a spirited congressman from Illinois named Richard J. Durbin, now the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, delivered what is unquestionably the greatest diatribe to ever grace the House floor — in defense of the wooden bat.
A young Durbin, still speaking with his strong Illinois accent, (as a Land of Lincoln lady myself, trust me on this; listen for how he says “pajamas” and “Americana”) was so riled up by the cheers of his colleagues as he hit the dramatic crescendo of his speech that he effectively dropped the mic when it was over.
Eat your heart out, Harry Reid, with your tired Davey Johnson metaphors.
“I don’t want to hear about saving trees, any tree in America would gladly give its life for a day of glory at home plate,” Durbin proclaimed. “I don’t know if it will take a constitutional amendment to keep the baseball traditions alive, but if we forsake the great Americana of broken-bat singles and pine tar, we certainly will have lost our way as a nation.”
May we mark this day every year to remember what America is really all about, and that even though it’s unclear who Durbin was addressing with this little ditty, aluminum bats have remained out of professional baseball for decades.
If we don’t take a moment to appreciate the glory that is the Durbin Wooden Bats™ speech now, in the heart of baseball season, then HOH has to ask, “Is nothing sacred?”