November 1, 8pm, in the middle of Game 6. Text received. Old friend from years past. “Can you take off the next two days?” The rest is a blur. I was at Game 7 of the World Series, Chicago Cubs vs Cleveland Indians. If you have a blog, then you have internet, so I don’t have to tell you how it ended. But I have to share this experience or else I am afraid I will keep believing it was a dream.
I am planner, but even I only had to think about my response to his question for about 2.3 seconds. Dog sitting? Figure it out. Take off work? Figure it out. Hotel accommodations? Figure it out. There was no way I would sit this one out due to anxiety. Heck, sports anxiety was starting to becoming the norm with the postseason the Cubs were putting me through!
Before I knew it, I was making the 6-hour trek to Cleveland. While I was nervous for the game and what to expect with the trip, those feelings quickly dissipated with each passing car. I was in great company on my journey, since about 70% of drivers also had their destination set to game 7. It felt like I was part of a club. At every rest stop, people would exchange stories of how they came into tickets or what they expected to see that night. There was already such a positive energy, it felt like we were all going to a home game together. At that point I knew, win or lose, this was going to be an evening to remember.
Everyone was amazing. Everyone. We were all friends, cheering for a great game and the most deserving winner. And I’ve seen a lot of baseball games, but that was (by far) the most exciting, nerve-racking, nail-biting, rewarding, and emotional games I have ever witnessed. It felt like a dream. Even now, I as recall my experience a week later, it is surreal. Home runs, an early lead, a large blown lead, the tie, extra innings, rain delay, the motivational speech, the W.
I could write for days, but much like the beauty of a sunrise seen from a photograph, there’s nothing I could say to capture that amazing experience. I got to sing “Go Cubs Go” in the stadium where they won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. This was the year.