“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone. . . . It breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.”
– Bart Giamatti, from The Green Fields of the Mind (thanks to Michael J. Madison and many others who saw fit to quote this)
Or my buddy Jim Belshaw:
Baseball is finished for the year, but the World Series is just starting. It is the Bambino’s Paradox, the Goat’s Conundrum. Very strange.
No Cubs. No Red Sox. No curses. No gauzy sentimental TV moments. No identification with futility, because like the Cubs and Red Sox, most of us know futility too well. Tragedy sticks to our ribs long after comedy has come and gone.
Jim is a fan of the Chicago White Sox, and loves to repeat this quote, from Jean Shepherd:
If I was ever ordered to storm a pillbox, going to shear, sudden, and utterly certain death, and told to pick my platoon, I would pick White Sox fans. I would pick Sox Fans because they have known death every day of their lives–and it holds no terror for them anymore.
The Sox haven’t won since 1917. Jim is a Sox fan.