Search This Site
Opinion :: Baseball believers
· 12:21pm October 15th, 2012
Seven times this year, the St. Louis Cardinals came close to taking Pete Kosma off their roster.
Now, he’s the starting shortstop, and helping his team win playoff games.
That’s the kind of story we hear every October.
Every sport has its Cinderella stories, its rags-to-riches moments. Baseball, however, seems to have more of them.
Of the nine men who started for the Cardinals in their first playoff game at San Francisco on Sunday night, only a few were starters on last year’s championship team. Cardinals fans will remember too well how that last year’s World Series champions lost their manager, their pitching coach and of course their star player, Albert Pujols. Their new manager, Mike Mattheny, spent years recovering from the pains and memory problems caused by several concussions he suffered as a catcher. After a surprisingly good start, the cardinals experienced several injuries that made winning tougher; for the second straight year they barely made the playoffs.
Recovering from such setbacks seems to be normal for the modern Cardinals. So when they were down 6-0, and two runs behind and down to their last strike in the ninth inning against the Nationals, many of us simply believed that a game-winning rally was more inevitable than defeat.
Every team has its own set of stories. The Cardinals’ opponent this week, the Giants, have the biggest comeback story of the year in their catcher, Buster Posey. He was seriously injured in May of 2011, and missed most of last season. This year, he is the National League Batting Champion and may be voted MVP (San Francisco fans hope so, from the countless signs they are displaying during the playoffs)
The final two American League teams have had their challenges, too. The Detroit Tigers were in second place, or worse, all season until about Sept. 15. And early in the season, the Yankees lost the pitcher who keeps their opponents from scoring in the ninth inning. And they lost superstar shortstop Derek Jeter in Game 1 vs. the Tigers.
As we watch the playoffs this week and then the World Series next week, we will hear even more stories about how those guys got from where they began to the amazing place they are.
Watching all this, a baseball fan looks down at the 18 men below and says, “Hey, if he can do that, than I can….” And we become believers. Believers in our team. Our players. Ourselves.
And whoever wins this week, or next, millions will watch a game they played as kids and find some hope for today.
Celebrating Why Men NEVER Ask For Directions Day.
A World Series anniversary