I’d like to share this video about my beloved Cubbies. I grew up a Reds fan but fell in love with the Cubs when I moved to Chicago in 1996. I moved to their neighborhood, Wrigleyville/Lakeview, in 1997, and lived within walking distance of the ballpark for six years. I took the El past their ballpark on the way to work for eleven years, even after I moved further north to the Rogers Park neighborhood. I loved them when they won, and when they lost. While my faith in them was often tested, I never lost it. Last night’s Game 7 will go down in history as one of the best (if not THE best) World Series games ever.
Why do I love baseball? Baseball is the most democratic of sports. You don’t have to be a certain size/physique to be good. MLB players hail from many different countries. Women are currently pro ballplayers in the minors and it’s only a matter of time (Just like Jackie Robinson was only a matter of time) before one makes it to the show. In baseball, as in democracy, it’s ultimately your numbers that matter most. If you earn the stats, and earn them honestly (no juicing! no cheating!) you can win it all. But you can’t win at baseball as an individual. It takes an entire team working cohesively, supporting each other, having each others’ backs, and always keeping an eye on the bigger prize, together, putting their own individual egos aside in the process.
In that way, baseball is truly a meritocracy. But there’s also an element of surprise involved. That’s the magic of baseball, which is also the magic of democracy. Nothing is ever guaranteed. Pundits and sportscasters can make their predictions, but they are often wrong. Having confidence in the 1st may make no difference in the 9th. You have to work for it. You have to fight for it. You have to never, ever, ever give up. But if you have faith, if you’re good, and you’re honest, and the people are united behind you, you can become the champion. It may take a very, very long time. For the Cubbies, it took over a century. But the stars finally aligned, and it happened in the bottom of the 9th inning.
In democracy, as in baseball, ANYTHING can happen. We’re in the top of the 9th inning right now. This year, it will come down to the bottom of the 9th. Some will experience the agony of defeat, while others shall bask in the final glory. But nobody can predict the outcome, which may be a fielder’s choice. In any case, keep the faith. It will all work out. Our democracy, like baseball, is designed to work, like a beautiful symphony. But only if the people are united behind the true winner. The one who earned it. The one who deserves it. The one who achieved it honestly.
Time will tell. Watch the video. It will show you why I have such faith, such optimism, that even given 2016’s horrible, dysfunctional, psychological-warfare-grade presidential election, everything is going to work out in the end. Some things are bigger than we are.