I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to hear the words “the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series” and have it actually be true. You see, I’d heard that phrase many times while playing video games, and it always sent a chill down my spine, but it was fantasy.
The fantasy, however, became reality on November 2, 2016, when millions of other Cubs fans and I finally got to hear the words we so longed to hear. It took over a century, but it happened, and the Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions (writing that still gives me chills).
In the days and week since that night, stories have begun to emerge. There was the man who drove more than 600 miles to listen to the game at his father’s grave, fulfilling a promise made years ago. There was the video of an entire neighborhood in Chicago, a city struggling with one of the highest murder rates in history, celebrating and singing “Go Cubs, Go.”
This is what makes baseball so special. More than any sport, baseball has the ability to transcend the field and touch people on a personal level. The Cubs winning the World Series wasn’t just about 25 grown men playing a game. It was a story of a long-suffering city and fan base finally realizing a generational hope. It was about grandkids and their grandparents, about sons and daughters and their parents. It was a story of human perseverance and hope. And this is not a first for baseball. Who can forget President Bush, a little over a month after the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history, throwing out the first pitch in the 2001 World Series in New York? That moment symbolized the beginning of a national healing, and baseball helped make it happen.
Baseball has lost a lot of popularity in recent years. People complain that its boring and the games take too long. Baseball is a thinking man’s sport, however. It’s always going to have a pace that seems slow when compared to other sports. But what it lacks in pace it makes up for in nuance. And while improvements could be made to improve the on-field product, no sport can rival baseball’s transcendent ability. So, take a chance on baseball. Get to know the ins and outs. Who knows, the next time you need an uplift, baseball might just be there.
Until next season, go Cubs, go!