Well, a-beat the drum and hold the phone
The sun came out today
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field
A-roundin’ third and headed for home
It’s a brown-eyed handsome man
Anyone can understand the way I feel
Oh, put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today
Look at me, I can be centerfield
~ John Fogerty, Centerfield
A little over a week ago, I wrote a post here called (click to read if you missed it) “Be Careful What You Wish For” which was the beginning of the final step of a long season for the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. As life can be, it has been a wild and emotionally charged week.
Since, for me, this was a once in a lifetime event, I wanted to save some of my thoughts and emotions.
Game One ….. Tuesday, Oct 25,2016 ……. I’m filled with a nervous excitement all day. Kind of like a kid on Christmas Eve. Filled with anticipation of getting that beloved toy from Santa, yet realizing that it could also be the proverbial “lump of coal”. During the pre-game, I think fondly of my grandfather. He was a mere 15 years old the last time his team, the Chicago Cubs, won the World Series (in 1908) and he was a 52 year old man the last time (1945) the Cubs appeared in the Series. With all the pomp and circumstance of the pre-game leading into the National Anthem, I thought of the person that gave me their heart …. I was so filled with gratitude, that I was crying before we got to “the rockets red glare” verse. That person gave me this moment and so many more …… I am ALWAYS filled with gratitude. The game itself was a well pitched battle and way closer than the final score would reflect. Cleveland wins, 6 – 0.
Game Two ……. Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016 …….. the nervousness has worn off. Not as jittery for this game …. the Indians pitching is so-so and we left our bats in the car. I’m not as emotional today, and I’m sure we can do this. Cleveland loses, 5 – 1. (Series tied) Note that the TV announcers are certainly pulling for Chicago. Once again, it’s Cleveland against the world!
Game Three ……. Friday, Oct 28, 2016 ……. The first game in Wrigley Field in Chicago. Lots of back stories as Wrigley is hallowed ground to so many baseball fans. Every pitch is watched, every play is scrutinized and every fan in is on the edge of their seat ….. if they are in fact sitting down. It’s a battle of pitchers and managers …. of great fielding. The Indians finally eke out a run in the top of the seventh inning and win 1 – 0. (Cleveland leads series 2 – 1)
Game Four ……. Saturday, Oct 29, 2016 ……. another game that was closer than the score would indicate. Chicago scored first, but Cleveland quickly answered. And the pitchers dueled for a while …..
Then, in the middle of the game came word that a heart transplant friend had passed away. I was consumed with real and raw emotions that truly put the “game” into perspective. I can remember seeing this young lady and her sister (both heart recipients) in ads and commercials for organ donation long before I ever got sick. I never knew I’d be on a heart transplant journey myself. After my transplant we were in one of our favorite restaurants for dinner and our favorite waitress asked where we had been for so long …… she was told the story of my journey and she said, someday when you are here (in the restaurant) at the same time as a Mr & Mrs “M”, I will introduce you to them as they have 2 daughters that had heart transplants. After time, I did meet Mr & Mrs M, and eventually met their two lovely daughters, Patrice and Candice. I would occasionally see them out and about, or at volunteering functions and we stayed in touch via Facebook. Patrice recently had some issues ….. I am truly shocked and saddened by her passing. She was a young, beautiful lady, Mom and wife. But, she also lived an extra 23 years, all thanks to TWO donors that gave her their hearts. The Series didn’t seem quite as important to me after this …….
……. I digress, it was close until a three run homer sealed it for the Indians. The Indians won 7 -2. (Indians lead series 3 – 1)
Game Five, Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 – Another nail biter, with good pitching, though Chicago’s pitching was superior, in my opinion. Every pitch seemed to count, every hit could “be the one” for either team. Yet again, another night of BAD coverage by FOX sports ……. I got tired of seeing Bill Murray’s face on TV. Cubs won, 3 – 2. (Cleveland leads series 3 – 2)
Game Six, Tuesday, Nov 1, 2016 – The Indians were very flat, the game got away from them quickly. A home run, a mental error in the outfield quickly had them down 3 – 0 …….. the game never got better, Indians lost, 9 – 3, series is now tied up, 3 – 3. Because I had to get up very early the next day for testing at my transplant hospital, I did turn this game off early.
Game Seven, Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016 ……… A movie script, being played out in front of 40 million people who witnessed it on TV that evening …… the Cubs scored first and the Tribe quickly tied the game.
I then missed a couple of innings as I spoke about the benefits of organ donation to a room full of future teenage drivers, in their Driver’s Education class.
The Cubs would score, then the Indian would come back and tie the game ….. like two fighters trading punches …. tied at the end of the 9th inning at 6 to 6, then a little rain came into Cleveland and the tarp was ordered onto he field ……. there was a 17 minute rain delay, just long enough to dampen the Indians momentum. When play resumed, the Cubs would score 2 runs ……. in Cleveland’s last at bat, they would get one run back and ultimately lose to the 2016 World Champion Chicago Cubs. (Again the coverage was all Chicago, Fox Sports was AWFUL)
I thank the Cubs for their great season and a great World Series, they are the Champs.
However, I will always love my Indians, always the underdog …….. they battled all season, with injuries to key players …… including a drone incident/injury during the playoffs.
Thank you to the Cleveland Indians for the moments and the memories of this season. You’ll always be in our hearts!
(And please register as an organ donor. Do it for yourself, for the other Patrice’s out there that are waiting for a second chance at life.)