A curse, no more

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Baseball, with its freshly mowed grass fields and carefully laid foul lines, can be compared to any other game. With its curses and rituals, it’s unlike any other.

It’s marked with tradition that as many other sports adjust to the evolution of the athlete, its one that has stood firm on its field of dreams.

It’s a game about as laid back as it gets. Yet, it pulsates with a charged energy that in a matter of seconds can mean the difference between leaping for victory or being reduced to heart-wrenching defeat.

Email newsletter signup

There are times the baseball gods gift us with something spectacular– a feat that will be talked about long after its witnesses are gone.

The 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians was that kind of spectacular, and Game No. 7 transported its greatness into the history books.

No great game is without its drama or without its heroes. For 108 years, the Cub fan has been invested in its team to one day again wear the championship crown.

When Cubs’ third baseman Kris Bryant fielded the slow roller on the infield and fired to Anthony Rizzo at first for the final out to win it all, Cub fans felt joy. Chicago felt joy. Baseball felt joy. I even knew what I witnessed. I witnessed one of the best baseball games I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.

I was invested, not as a die-hard Cubs fan, or die-hard Indians fan, but as a die-hard baseball fan. (If the Yankees would have been involved, I might have lost my mind, but let’s not detract here.)

Let’s just say somewhere the infamous Cub scapegoat Steve Bartman let out a sigh of relief. Cubs general manager Theo Epstein proved once again where there’s a curse, Epstein can ghostbuster it out of the park.

Cubs catcher David Ross leaves the game on top. His homerun in the sixth inning proved bigger than ever. There’s stories all across the board. The Cubs have a core of talent led by Rizzo and Bryant that proves the team will be tough to deal with beyond the 2016 season.

Unfortunately, someone had to lose. It’s easy to say Cleveland blew it, after losing a 3-1 lead in the World Series. Just looking at that you have a viable reason to say the Indians did. But what goes unsaid is how hard each game is to win, and how hard it is to close out. The Cubs were in a predicament where it was win or go home, literally.

In Game No.7 both teams wanted it. They wanted the win for their city and fans. Cleveland could have kiln over, down 6-3 in the eighth inning with shutout closer Aroldis Chapmen pitching. The Indians fought, and off the bat of a heroic two-run left field shot by Raja Davis the Indians tied it up.

The game exhibited timely hitting, with the long and small ball game; a clinic in what-to-do and not-to-do in base running; strong pitching; and horrendous and remarkable defense. How about that Lindor play up the middle with the game on the line?

Baseball is a simple game that rings strong in the hearts of those affected. It can make us smile, and man it can make a grown man cry. By title it’s just a game. In nature its much, much more.

Just ask the Cubbie faithful.