Erik Drost via Flickr, licensed cc
Somewhere in Illinois, St. John Cantius Church rang its church bells last night, and Seminarians were out front celebrating the World Series Championship of the Chicago Cubs. It was an awesome game.
These were the Cinderella teams of baseball. The Indians haven't won a World Series since 1948 and prior to last June's basketball championship, Cleveland hadn't won any sort of championship in any sport in 52 years. Chicago of course had the amazing basketball run and many championships with the Chicago Bulls, but the Cubs hadn't won a championship in 108 years. No one could argue that either team was "due." They both were and they both wanted it.
But let's be real - Cleveland was the real underdog in this match. Even the media coverage was against the tribe. Nonetheless, with half the fan base, half the media coverage, half the payroll and half the star power, plus injuries in the pitching roster, the Indians were ruled out from the start. But they played like they weren't aware of any of that.
This was a game that went into extra innings to break a tie, that Chicago broke in the top of the 10th. After a rain delay, the Indians had their shot at glory, but it just wasn't to be. Not this time. Not this year. The tribe went as far as you can go in a baseball season - extra innings in the 7th game of the World Series. After coming so far for so long, it was devastating.
But not overwhelming.
I loved the outpouring of love and encouragement on social media last night. It was like watching the game with hundreds of my closest friends, from all over the country and just down the road. When the Tribe tied the game up, you could feel the excitement and hope building that maybe, just maybe, Cleveland could get its second championship in one year.
They didn't. But good things come to those who wait.
Northeast Ohio has won a major sports championship, accomodated a national convention, and hosted the World Series this year. The spotlight was on this area in a good way many times and the city lived up to the challenge. There were no riots, no murders, no mayhem. The fans from other cities who came here, as well as political delegates from all over the country, stayed in our hotels and ate in our restaurants. Hopefully maybe a few of them were able to hike in the wonderful park system, or visit further down state to see and purchase the great Amish wares. Perhaps Northeast Ohio has gained a reputation for being able to handle the national spotlight and more good opportunities will come our way.
In the meantime, I know many of my conservative and Catholic friends are hurting this morning. They have graciously congratulated the winners and are once more hoping for next year. May I suggest though that a bigger contest is coming in just a few days. Let's offer it up for a pro-life sweep of the elections next week and a defeat of the foes who are working against us.