The script for this strip was written months ago, long before the disaster in Japan occurred. It was just through a quirk of scheduling our first month’s scripts that this came out while Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of the disaster that happened earlier this month.
I thought, however, that this strip (and our next one) should get run just the same. If only to try and return to normalcy. Because that’s the goal of recovery.
Maybe some of our readers are too young to remember 1989, but that earthquake struck in the middle of baseball. For about a week, baseball was an afterthought as the Bay Area recovered from the disaster, and worked to save lives and put out the fires. But eventually, baseball came back.
In 2001, baseball stopped again after the terrorist attack. Once again, baseball stopped for a week as the nation was glued to their TVs as they watched the fallout and the recovery. But once again, baseball came back. The home run record that season may have been muted, but for some of us following it, it felt even better to dive into it and let it be something we thought about day and night.
That’s what baseball is. In the long run, it isn’t important. But it’s something we do. The events help us mark the time. It’s always there. For those of us who enjoy baseball, as many of us both here and Japan do, it’s normal. And after a disaster, that’s all we’re striving for: a return to normalcy.
Now, I don’t want to minimize the disaster that is in Japan by comparing it to 9/11 and 1989. They’re very different things, and in Japan, many more people than in either of the other events have been affected, and will continue to be affected, for many more years. Recovery from it will take much longer.
But the goal remains the same, normalcy. And hopefully, when baseball begins again in Japan, it will help those affected feel that way, in at least a small way.
If you’d like to help support the recovery, there’s several places you can. The San Francisco Giants made a donation through the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, and you can donate through them here. You can also make an easy donation to the American Red Cross through iTunes using this link if you use that service. You can also donate to several other established (and confirmed) charities by going to the Consulate General of Japan’s website.
Here’s hoping for an eventual return to normalcy for Japan, and a quick resolution to the ongoing crisis there.