John Glenn coincidentally (but awesomely) threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium yesterday as part of a previously scheduled ceremony to honor Glenn’s service as both an orbiting astronaut and United States senator. Before heading out to the mound, Glenn, 91, was asked an extraordinary question: “Were you jealous of Neil Armstrong?”

The senator’s response made us proud to be Americans (and baseball fans)…

Caption: Glenn and Neil Armstrong during survival training in the Choco Indian territory of the Darien rainforest in Panama, 1960.

“I told Neil a couple of times that I’m not by nature a jealous person. I’ve had some opportunities in my life that I treasure and been lucky myself, so I’m not given to jealousy. But for Neil I’ll make an exception. People have looked up for tens of thousands of years and wondered what was up there, and all at once in our time Neil was able to go up there and make that first footprint on the moon. That’s pretty big stuff, so I told him, ‘That’s one I could be jealous of.’”

Glenn then walked onto the field at Yankee Stadium before 60,000 fans, hands over their hearts, and tossed out the first pitch.

Kind of makes our wiffle ball win on Saturday seem a bit less… than.

Here’s to small steps this week.

—C.B.S.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • C. Brian Smith