Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/13/14

Last night was everything that is right with baseball.  Everything that has made writers swoon and wax nostalgic for over a century.  Everything that purists hold sacred.  No, it wasn’t a pretty game.  It wasn’t particularly well-played or well managed.  But it was baseball.   For all its flaws and foibles, its controversies and criticisms, baseball still holds a place in my heart (and I’m sure in most of yours) that won’t soon be pushed out by a pretty post pattern, or a perfect alley-oop, a bone-crushing check over the red line, or a perfectly executed draft and pass.

Sure, the defense left something to be desired.  And a game in a National League ballpark with nineteen runs on twenty eight hits certainly doesn’t scream “Pitcher’s Duel”.  But, consider…

At one point in this game, a man born and raised within shouting distance of the stadium where the World Series was being played had a chance to extend the game and become a hero.  He came through.

At one point in this game, a man with more personal demons than a minimum-security prison hit a ball far into the night, and was vaulted to Demi-God status, even if it was short lived.

At one point in this game, a pitcher strode to the plate as the potential game-winning run.  In that same at bat, his misplaced bunt went from nearly being a World Series ending triple play to a near infield hit, before ending its roll in the grass as merely a bunt.

At one point in this game, a manager intentionally put a game winning run on base by holding four fingers in the air, and at the time it happened, it was absolutely the right move.  90 seconds later, it was idiotic, shortsighted, and any number of other superlatives.

And at one point in this game, the newly crowned hometown hero, who had probably played this exact scenario in his head thousands of time as a boy, took a mighty swing, driving a ball 400 feet to straightaway center field, and sent us to bed smiling, holding the knowledge that there will be one more game this season.  In a child’s game played by grown men, there was something perfectly poetic in how it played out.

I love baseball.

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