Saturday, October 29, 2011

How Life Imitates the World Series--Thomas Boswell


The story is now old. . .in this day of twitter. . .instant messaging. . .the internet. . .The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series about thirty minutes ago. . .already old news. . .

Last night, twice they were down to their last strike. . .how many times have you felt like you were down to your last strike?

Don't tell David Freese:


He knows all about last strikes. . .He's was drafted in the 9th round in 2006. . .272 players were taken before him. . .eight rounds after the Cardinals took

Adam Ottavino.  .  .who is no longer on the Cardinals 40-man roster. . .


. . .but, Freese, last night, did this:


No. . .you're probably not going to hit a walk-off home run. . .you may not even have the privilege of seeing 272 people picked ahead of you for a chance to wallow in obscurity for the Fort Wayne Wizards, the Lake Elsinore Storm, or the Memphis Redbirds before being given a chance in The Show. . .

But, your life could imitate the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series for 2011. . .They were a Wild Card Team, winning a chance to face the dominating and favored Phillies on the last day of the regular season. . .in late August they were 10 1/2 games out of the running for a wild card berth. . .that's like finishing second at a chance to dance with the lonely hirsute girl sitting on the bleachers in high school who has rings under her armpits. . .so that maybe the runner-up to the homecoming queen might notice you for being such a good sport. . .but, they beat the Phillies and then beat the Brewers to take them to the Series. . .and they won. . .

Don't tell them anything about luck. . .don't tell them they don't deserve it. . .

Because, to quote Boswell. . ."the best players, the best teams, usually digest the game and then dream about it, at a different level."  Sort of like a life extraordinary. . .you have to be a dreamer. . .and you have to do it at a different level. . .

. . .or Boswell's reference to Toby Harrah.  .  .he had just been traded to the Cleveland Indians. . .former Indian Dick Bosman said. . ."I pity Toby. . .that town will beat you down.". . .

Harrah's response:  "I'll make it. . .I've learned that you can never stop believing in yourself in this game.  .because you're the only one that does.". . .Colbert Dale Harrah went on and played five years with the Tribe, making the all-star team in 1982.  He last played twenty-five years ago (tell me that can't be true!). . .

For all of us die-hard baseball fans we only have this for the next four months. . .until pitchers and catchers once again report. . .



We don't really care about basketball. . .we don't really care about football.  .we only care that people like David Freese can be a hero. . .There won't be much sleep tonight in St. Louis. . .and once again, in seven glorious evenings of entertainment, baseball has proved itself to be mystical, reliable, and effortlessly beautiful.  . .for us in Cleveland, time begins on April 5th. . .in sunshiny Cleveland. . .bring the blankets. . .have a hot dog. . .settle in . . .because, who knows, next October, it could be Tribe Time.  .


1 comment:

oldben said...

Well written, Mr. Garrett. A walk-off essay, touching all the bases.