Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Now is the time to salaam before Steve Bartman
Life is not fair.
I hope I’m not the guy spilling the beans to you. But the best competitor and the one who wins are not always the same person.
Baseball teaches us that. It isn’t just any player who whiffs to sink the Mudville Nine. It is the Mighty Casey.
The team whose pitcher racked up the most number of perfect innings in a game — 12, by Pirate Harvey Haddix — also lost that game, in the 13th.
And the Cubs … well, they’re in the playoffs now, still, in the second half of October. Acclaimed the best team in baseball, for all the good that does. Fans strode into the post-season confident in our champions who just needed to execute a few preliminaries, to sign some paperwork, the bill of lading for our long-delayed and much re-routed delivery of glory.
Then we felt a chill.
An apt moment to give reverence to Steve Bartman, to salaam before him, like a minor household deity. You remember Bartman. He was just another fan at Wrigley Field on Oct. 14, 2003, at Game 6 of another National League Championship Series, this one against the Florida Marlins. One out, eighth inning. Luis Castillo drives one down the left field line. Moises Alou goes after it....
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