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Around the Bluhmin’ Town

11/9/16

Judy Bluhm

There is a winner and a loser. Defeat and victory. Cheering and jeering. Hopes rising and dreams dashed. It is the way it is, Dear Readers. This November will go down in history.

The most important contest in the past century has unfolded in front of our eyes. And I am not talking about the Presidential election. Sure, that result might set the course for our democracy over the next forty years, but it is not exactly the World Series. Fans of Cleveland and Chicago waited a lifetime for this matchup and the entire world was watching.

How big was this World Series? Well, if 108 years of losing can be reversed with winning the Big One, then this Cubs team will be riding a golden chariot down Michigan Ave, leading the city in a celebration that might take another hundred years to overcome. Cleveland had only 68 years of waiting for This Moment.

Thankfully, this past week has been about competition, not elections. It is about two titans of baseball, with hellacious pitchers and batters with arms of steel and balls being caught that defy all odds and runners sprinting with the speed of Olympians. There are balls that blaze to the heavens, out of sight and into God’s glove. Stealing bases that are nothing short of an art form of brazen courage. Pitchers with wicked arms and fast balls that rip over 100 mph.

And then it came down to this. An extra inning. A seventeen minute rain delay. Time for champions to calm their nerves and restore their faith.  Believe! The curse of the goat is rubbish that has plagued the Cubs for a century. So what if Mark Twain was alive the last time the Cubbies won a Series! Stay cool and carry on. And in the end, Chicago and Cleveland might have given us the Greatest Game Ever.

There was cheering. And heartbreak. Sort of like what is ahead for Hillary and Trump supporters. One winner. One loser. But so many millions of us affected by the outcome. Not just a game. We had hopes and dreams pinned on this outcome. These are the days when grown men cry and women weep. All bets are off. Only one left standing.

Why do we love baseball so much? Maybe because the players remind us of ordinary guys. It is always fantastic to see a fastball released from the arm of a slightly built pitcher. It is good fun to watch outfielders who have potbellies and look more like couch potatoes than world-class athletes. Baseball is the great American pastime and a part of our collective childhood memories. We watch holding our breath, witnessing something so utterly amazing and miraculous with the thwack of a ball, the pitch of a lifetime, the slide into base or the catch of the century.

The bats are silent now, so we traded in our bats for ballots. There was one more match-up. Yes, we grabbed a hot dog and a beer, cheered, hoped, voted and prayed. We Believed! And then came the Final Score. Defeat hurts. But remember the words of Babe Ruth. “Every strike gets me closer to my next home run.” Victory thrills. And it is good to celebrate like a champion.

After The Big Game…life goes on and so do we. We are brilliant at picking ourselves up and going forward.  As one sport announcer said at the end of the Series, “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time to rest…because we have seen too much.”

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a comment or a story? Contact Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.