Commentary: the World Series moment

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There are moments that words don’t reach.

Instead, it’s an ear-splitting roar, a moment of absolute adrenaline and jubilation. A frenzy of hugging, crying and yelling.

That’s what baseball is: a game of moments. What makes this sport so special is that there is no time limit, so there is no running out the clock. There is no waiting for the end of the game; the teams have to make the end of the game happen. As long as there’s still one out, still one strike left, it’s not over.

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A Cubs fan flies the “W” outside Wrigley Field after the team won Game 7. (Geoff Stellfox / The DePaulia)

That was a reality Cubs fans felt on both sides of the spectrum during this World Series. A 3-1 series deficit seems almost impossible to erase, while a 6-3 lead in the 8th inning of Game 7 with the closer on the mound feels secure. There’s no relief, but hope is also never extinguished. It’s always possible.

Baseball is a series of moments leading up to one final moment. It’s the first pitch on Opening Day, when every stadium is full and, for one day, every team is on the same plane. It’s the excited cheers a highly touted rookie gets as he steps up to the plate for his first career at-bat. It’s the walk-off home run that vaults a team into first place, or the standing ovation a legendary player gets as they walk off the field for the last time.48090_depaul_ads_250x250_2

Baseball’s natural state is suspense. It’s the seconds when a pitcher is staring down a batter while the crowd is going nuts. Then there’s a quick silence as the crowd holds their breath in anticipation. Then there’s the result. Whether it’s a strikeout, a ball in play, or the ever-frustrating foul ball.

For the Cubs, the World Series was a culmination of 108 years of moments. Years and years of “wait till next year,” while the “lovable losers” moniker became an identity. It was filled with moments like Ernie Banks exiting the game a legend without a playoff appearance, of Sammy Sosa being on the field as Mark McGuire beat him to the single-season home run record, of Steve Bartman’s unfortunate interference leading to a defensive collapse on the precipice of a pennant.

So when the moments become successful, they’re that much sweeter. It’s the moment when Kris Bryant came up to bat for the first time last year as the first part of the “maybe this year” faction. It’s the moment they beat their hated rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, to advance in the playoffs. It’s the moment they win their first National League pennant in 71 years, and history was on its way to being made.

What happened in Game 7 were some of the greatest sports moments the game of baseball has ever seen. Two teams who haven’t won a World Series since before Dwight Eisenhower was president battling with the weight of their cities on their backs. It’s the moment where David Ross hits a solo home run in his final game of his career, or when Rajai Davis ties the game with a home run in the most crucial situation.

These moments brought ups and downs, like a whiplash any fan can’t get enough of. It’s emotional, it’s ingrained in us. These moments in the game are built on other moments that brought us here. The moment you see the big league field for the first time as a kid, the moments you spent with your grandfather listening to the games on the radio, the moments you roleplayed winning the World Series in your backyard.

Wednesday was the ultimate moment. It was an ear-splitting roar, a moment of absolute adrenaline and jubilation. A frenzy of hugging, crying and yelling. The cars honked, the mob swarmed Wrigleyville and, for one night, everyone was united as the seemingly impossible became possible. The thing you dreamed about your entire life suddenly became reality in a single second.

There’s no greater moment than that.