Well, it’s that time of year again! It’s October and post season baseball is officially here. For some fans they are watching their favorite teams compete for a chance to go to the biggest stage in Baseball, The World Series. Unfortunately, for most fans they are already counting down the days until their team reports for spring training, and begins at that fresh start of 0-0. Now if you just happen to be one of those lucky fans that have found your team in the postseason, well congrats. You are about to find out just how post season baseball feels, and the intensity that comes with it. That’s right I used the word intensity when talking about baseball.
You see, we all know baseball isn’t that exciting of a sport to watch whether in person or on television. Something happens though when we get into the postseason, baseball becomes electrifying, every pitch, every at bat, every little thing about it keeps us all on the edge of our seats. The roar of the crowd is intoxicating with every strikeout by the home team, something as simple as a base hit can ignite a home teams fan base, it is completely different than the regular season. The power of the crowd is felt even when watching on TV. Just watching the Nationals win the NL wildcard game gave me chills and I’m not even a Nationals fan, but the feeling of the postseason is just that powerful!
As a Diamondbacks fan, I don’t have many postseason memories, but I’ll tell you the memory that I do have, the Diamondbacks winning the World Series in 2001. I was only 10 years old at the time, but I was already deeply in love with the sport of baseball. I had been playing since I was 5 before the Diamondbacks were even a franchise, mind you I am now 28. I honestly never rooted for any teams until the Dbacks came to town, but I did have favorite players such as Derek Jeter, and Ken Griffey Jr. As a matter of fact I had posters of both in my bedroom. I leaned more towards the Mariners than I did the Yankees.
World Series 2001 was what made me a baseball fan for life because my home team was in the World Series. I know it sounds stupid, but I was at the perfect impressionable age to fall for it. I remember having joy when we would win and total disappointment and doubt when we would lose. Afterall, 9/11 had just happened and it seemed the Yankees were primed to win for the city of New York, even in my youth I knew how picture perfect storylines worked. Fortunately for me, as a Diamondbacks fan, it didn’t play out as everyone thought it would.
In game 7 it was the bottom of the 9th!inning Luis Gonzalez came up to bat, 1 out, bases loaded with the score tied 2-2. Mariano Rivera, arguably the greatest closer of all time stared down Gonzalez, with the first pitch, Gonzalez fouled it off, the next pitch would make history for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gonzalez hit a blooper to shallow center field to bring in the winning run which gave the 3 year old Diamondbacks franchise their first ever World Series title. When this happened my house erupted, and when I say my house I mean me and my mom, instantly we grabbed pots and pans and went outside to bang them together in celebratory fashion and we weren’t the only ones in the neighborhood to do so. This memory will stick with me for the rest of my life. So in remembering this magic and excitement that I felt in that moment, I decided to ask our other baseball writers what their most memorable postseason moments were for their teams.
Kaleb Alan McChesney:
The Boston Red Sox more than under achieved this year. But when I think back, 2018 was a great season and it all came to fruition, game five in the World Series, in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. The Red Sox had the game in hand, and it was pretty clear they were going to win the World Series. But seeing Chris Sale March out there in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, up against our former nemesis from Baltimore Manny Machado with the championship right in front of him. Sale struck Machado out swinging with that low slider and everybody ran toward the mound to celebrate, it was a fantastic moment.
2009 was a big year for the Yankees. Not only did they open up the new Yankee Stadium, but they went out and signed three big name free agents in Mark Teixeria, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia. That year they made it into the playoffs and played the Los Angeles Angels in the ALCS. My family and I actually drove out to Anaheim and watched game 5. Even though the Yankees lost, watching postseason ball live was one of the most memorable sports moments of my life. I actually remember us walking through the parking lot all decked out in Yankee gear, and someone yelled “Hey New York’s that way!” and with my quick wit I yelled back “Yeah so is the World Series!” The Yankees would go on to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series to win their 27th World Series victory. I remember going to school the next day in my Hideki Matsui jersey on top of the world.
My favorite moment of Postseason baseball is David Ortiz’ 3 run home run in the 2013 ALCS. Being from New England, that year was particularly unique.
With heavy hearts, us Bostononians reminisced the events that happened on April 15th with the marathon bombing. After that terrible attack on our city, David Ortiz on April 20th said in a speech before a game against the Royals, “This is our Fuckin City and noone can dictate our freedom.”
So when David Ortiz hit a game tying home run in the 8th inning of the 2013 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, all those emotions came to life in one amazing moment. I don’t know why this particular home run was so special, but the moment became bigger than life for the city of Boston and one that I will never forget.
One thing is for sure, if you’re a fan of baseball, hell even if your not, the magic and intrigue of baseball and the postseason will always capture the hearts and minds of America. After all, baseball is America’s pastime.
Photo credit: OSGA.com
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