On a cold October night, Fenway Park was silent after the seventh inning in Game 2 of the World Series. During the previous evening, the Boston Red Sox stole the hearts of their fans after bringing home a victory and smacking the Saint Louis Cardinals 8-1. Cardinals fans such as myself hung their heads that night, as well as their “Redbird” pride; the game was almost a comedy.
Saint Louis committed more errors in one game than all of their previous ones, becoming the laughingstock of ESPN the following day. On Oct. 24 though, Michael Wacha and the rest of the birds would roll out of bed with an “underdog attitude” that would catapult the Cardinals back into the spotlight and away from anyone who would ever doubt Saint Louis.
What happened? If the Red Sox could beat the Cardinals by seven the night before, what is stopping them from World Series domination? The Comeback Cards, that’s who. In speaking with Rollins students in the gymnasium, dorms, and cafeteria, there seems to be split opinions as to which powerhouse is going to win and what students are Team “Sox” and which are Team “Birds.” Even if one could care less about baseball, it is always fun to witness a little healthy competition and the tension that is observed when students stare each other down over their beloved teams. Friends turn into enemies, strangers into cheering buddies, and people you might dislike can end up being your best advocate during the World Series.
This is the beauty of it all. Depending on their hometowns, students are going to be pro-Cardinals just because they are Yankees fans (the Yankees are the rivals of the Red Sox) or will be screaming for the Red Sox because they are from Chicago (Cubs fans hate the Cardinals). For myself, the amount of energy and pride I experience for my home team is catapulted to even higher levels during baseball season! To see the Saint Louis Cardinals win last night and bring themselves right back into the game was enough to make me scream out loud and dance around at 1:30AM in the library on a Thursday night, proudly announcing “We won” to my Pirates fan-friend across the room.
Some may think I am overtly energetic, crazy, or just plain obsessed–maybe some of this is true. However, there is nothing like seeing the underdogs come out ahead and the shock factor that comes along in the process. For many people, the World Series is more than baseball or a winning score of 4-2 in a game with extra innings.
Personally, I define this time in October as magical – when I have an excuse to wear red every day, call my friends past midnight just to scream and jump around, and, most importantly, come together with fans such as myself and hope. Hope is the biggest player in this magical time of year, and even though the Cardinals and Red Sox are perfectly matched with home game records and ace pitchers, we still believe that our team will win. This competition brings together people that never even talk and, within an instant, they are clenching each others’ hands as the 9th inning comes to a close and the score is 3-3.
Call it what you want, but being from Saint Louis has taught me that the World Series is more than a series in itself. It is a time when the impossible becomes imaginable, when underdogs reign as champions, and people become closer all in the knowing that their team needed everyone to come together and trust in them. For those reasons, the World Series is more than a series; the World Series is a life changer. Regardless of what happens in the final games, the spirit and unity of people during this time is unlike anything that I have ever witnessed , and I am proud to be a part of it all.