Last Spring, my father asked me if I’d like a rosary, made from colored beads in the same color scheme/motif as the Cleveland Indians. If you are unfamiliar, over the last ten years, my 95 year old father has been diligently making Rosaries in an effort to get to heaven. Somewhere along the way he was told or read that traditionally, the first prayers said on any Rosary were always said for the Rosary maker. Therefore, he concluded, the more Rosaries he made, the more prayers would be said for him–thereby ensuring his eventual stairway/entrance to heaven.
Today, if you were to walk into my house, the first thing you would see are the many different colored Rosaries we’ve hung from doorknobs, kitchen cupboard doors, etc, that he has given to my family over the years. So when he asked me if I wanted another Rosary, my first inclination was to say “No”. However, when he asked if I’d like them in my beloved “Indians” color scheme, I asked, “How many can you make?”
All told, I handed out seven Rosaries to various “Indians” fans and all summer long, as we prayed upon them, our team began to play better and better, culminating with a Central division championship, which then turned into winning the American League Pennant. Occasionally, throughout the summer, my dad would call asking, “How are those Rosaries working out for you?” and giggle. “They’re working great!” I’d reply, also with a laugh, once again thanking him for making them. “You know, my dad is taking credit for our teams’ insurgence,” I told a friend, who readily replied,”As well he should…” She prayed on her Cleveland Indian colored Rosary daily.
This afternoon he said to me, “The Rosaries can only get you so far…” as if to disavow himself from any blame in their loss of game seven in the World Series. “Dad, the Rosaries were great but all in all, I’m happy. My team was given 20-1 odds of even playing in the World Series and almost won. I mean, that game seven had everything–including the kitchen sink rain delay for goodness sake. I can’t be upset with them for working hard, never giving up and playing great team ball–especially since the core team of players (pitchers included) will be back next year-experience in hand, all the wiser,” I explained. Looking back at me he said, “Good, I love your attitude, but they need to get some good hitters… ”
I’m a baseball fan first and foremost and though my team fell short last night, I am very proud of all their accomplishments this season. One of the things that struck me the most last night, were the many compliments my players received across the social media landscape about what class athletes they were on the field. Instead of trying to bully, or intimidate the other team, they extended their hands and arms, to help their opponents up after a slide or stolen base attempt. During replay moments, instead of flailing their arms or causing scenes, they humbly stood by and awaited the call and in many cases were seen talking to and laughing with the other players. They were professional baseball players second, to being great human beings first.
The saddest part about waking up this morning and remembering the outcome of the game last night, was not that we have to wait another four months until Spring training begins, but rather, that the best distraction against the election (or real life) is now gone. Oh sure, there’s football, hockey and pro basketball to fill in the void but for me, baseball will always be better.
Let’s Go Tribe!!