I ditched Twitter very early on. I knew how it would be. Cardinals fans would be hating on every player that screwed up and Boston fans would be gloating like it was all over but the shouting. The media would be posting all kinds of comments about this or that irrelevant factoid or drawing absurd conclusions over something or another. Baseball in the age of the internet and social media. It definitely has its negative side.
It’s times like these when I am reminded of 1982. I was in college then, starting my first year of law school. I was a poor college student living in a small apartment with two roommates. We didn’t have a TV so I listened to the World Series on the radio. Game 1 was on the day before my 23rd birthday. My roommates were planning a party for me the next evening. They were busy and I kept to my tiny room with my radio on. If you were also watching or listening to that game, you know how it went. It was awful. The Cardinals only managed 3 measley hits and lost 10-0. I thought my birthday was ruined. My roommates consoled me the best way they could, in between trips to the store and getting ready for the party. There was a point where I wasn’t sure I even wanted a party, but my roomies had gone to so much trouble I couldn’t let them down. I think they were more excited about the party than I was.
Anyway, the next night the party happened and it was awesome. A big crowd showed up and we had a blast. There had to be at least 20 people crammed into an apartment about the size of a couple of large closets. I didn’t listen to the game that night, but we won, just barely. The series moved on to Milwaukee, where the Cardinals managed to win 1 of 3 and came home down 3 games to 2. Well, it all ended well, as the Cardinals took the last two at home. Game 6 was a 13-1 beat down. When Game 7 was over, I ran outside and sat on the front porch of my apartment building in Columbia, MO and listened to the cars driving by, people in them honking and screaming. It was glorious.
So, what is the point you say? It’s not over till the size challenged woman sings an aria? Well, yes. But my point is also this. Baseball kicks you in the gut, but it can turn around and make you glad you had a birthday party. My 23 year old self, if she were here right now, would tell you to stop crying (or gloating, if you are Red Sox fan) and have some birthday cake, and sit on the front porch and be happy to be alive. In the end, baseball will do what it’s going to do, and you can’t predict anything, and you can’t take anything for granted and for God’s Sake it doesn’t define who you are or what you do or don’t deserve in life. You can have a birthday party, gosh darn it, and have a good time.
Thank God there was no internet in 1982. You all would ruin everything.