A week ago my wife Christiana and I had the wonderful opportunity of attending Game #6 of the National League Championship Series. At that game, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 and advanced to the World Series for the first time in over 70 years. People throughout Chicagoland and from around the world have continued to follow the Cubs as they fight to stave off elimination. Their quest will continue tonight in Cleveland with another game #6, where the Cleveland Indians now have the chance to eliminate the Cubs and win their first world championship in over 70 years.
One of the greatest things about baseball are the stories. Baseball and history are woven together like two fibers in a finely made rug. Baseball is in many ways a microcosm of humanity. There are underdogs and bullies. There is hope and fear. There is sorrow and joy. In the end there is the game, a game that has been played by many and watched by many more for generations gone by.
I have had the great privilege of attending many big time sporting events in my lifetime. I’ve been to numerous World Series games. I’ve been to at least a few NBA championship games. I’ve been to a game #7 of a Stanley Cup Final and watched my team lose while the other team carried the Cup around the ice. I’ve even been to the biggest game of all, the Super Bowl. None of them compared to the experience of Game #6 of the NLCS last Saturday night.
Once every so often in life the table is set perfectly. On Saturday October 22nd at Wrigley Field the table was set for a night of pure joy. What was supposed to be a cool and potentially rainy night turned into a dry evening in the low 60s. The hometown Cubs were holding a 3-2 series lead and needed to win only one of the remaining two games at home to close out the Dodgers and advance to the World Series. While everyone hoped that the final act would play out on Saturday night, there was still the safety net of Sunday night if needed. There was a relaxed atmosphere to start the night. Lots of hope. Only a trace of fear. To help things along, the Cubs jumped out to an early lead by scoring runs in both the first and the second innings. Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks looked calm and cool as he threw first pitch strikes and mowed through 7 innings with hardly a blemish on his pitching line.
In the stands you could quite literally feel the anticipation growing with each passing minute. “Holy Cow this is actually gonna happen!” I heard one fan mutter to his friend a few rows behind us during the eighth inning. When it was all said and done and Anthony Rizzo squeezed the last out of the night into his giant first baseman’s glove, Wrigley Field erupted like a volcano that had been held back for millennia.
It wasn’t just the noise that was made by the 42,386 fans in attendance that raised the vibration of Wrigleyville that night at 9:46 p.m. It was the flood of joy that was released by over a million souls that made this moment in time one of the most powerful moments in my lifetime.
While we sat in the stands at Wrigley during game #6 of the NLCS last Saturday night I thought about a lot of things. I thought about the fact that I never went to a game at Wrigley with my Dad who died 19 years ago. I thought about my Grandpa Gaydos who watched every Cubs game from either his kitchen table or his corner tavern for decades before he died over 20 years ago. I thought about my dear friend Richard and his stories about going to games with his son Zach back in the days before they both crossed over to the other side of the veil all to soon. I thought about my cousins in Wisconsin who were watching with their hearts full of hope after recently losing their Cubs fanatic father, my Uncle Willie. I thought about the only time I caught a foul ball at Wrigley at the game we attended with our friends Carl and Joy. That game was about a year before Joy left us by quietly riding a golden wave of light out of her body while we sat at her bedside. Without even getting too deep into my history I managed to conjure up a half a dozen souls who brought their energies to the stadium with me that night. I’m sure there were many who carried the energy of even more souls than I did.
So let’s for the sake of this little hypothesis say that on the average each person at Wrigley field for Game #6 of the NLCS had the hopes and dreams of five other Spirits/Souls with them. I’d say that’s a conservative estimate! 42,386 x 5 = 211, 780. Now let’s take that back just one more generation and say that each of the five Spirit/Souls that came along for the ride attached to the 42,386 humans that were at Wrigley for Game #6 had five others with them on the other side of the veil. There are taverns in Heaven aren’t there?
211, 780 x 5 = 1,058,900 plus of course the actual 42,386 at the game. And how many generations has it been that the Cubs have been MLB’s lovable losers? I think you get the picture…
So on a magical Fall night….in a magical baseball shrine….for one magical moment in time….the energy of a million souls was gathered together and released in a flood of Joy. Some might say it was just a game. I say why shouldn’t we play? In a time when humanity is searching for more ways to experience joy and put fear to rest we need every opportunity we can find to understand our collective power. In the end it’s about more than a game of baseball. It’s about the fact that Joy is our default setting. It’s about the fact that Love Trumps out Hate. It’s about our Faith in the fact that we are all connected to Source.
In short my friends, It’s about the Game of Life and I say “Let’s Play Ball…”