Game. Seven.

The emotion those two words invoke, and the implied level of importance are captured in cliches we’ve all been hearing about for weeks and weeks now. (And yes, the feeling is different than hearing the words “game” “five”.) It’s serious for players, but often is more serious for fans, who are sometimes not so matter-of-fact about teams & games that they neither play for or are a part of, save maybe occupying a seat in the stands.

I will obviously not be playing in the 7th game of the World Series at Busch Stadium tonight…or any other night, for that matter. But as a superstitious fan, I will be trying to do my part to “help” the Cardinals in the quest for their 11th World Championship.

I’ve been wearing the same shirt during games for weeks. I’ve sat in the same place on the couch to watch every postseason game. I’ve not shaved in a month (and it looks awful, by the way), or so much as trimmed it, nor have I gotten a haircut. I’ve only gone to the bathroom after the bottom of an inning ends, never the top. I’ve driven more than 25 miles to be sure I had the same meal. I had 5 gallons of milk in my refrigerator at one time, and even my girlfriend’s kids remind me daily to stick to my routine, be it a meal, or anything else they noticed me doing on the day of a win.

I have my superstitions, and there’s no shortage of them.

I’m not sure that I am capable of writing anything you’ve not heard, read or seen by this point, with regard to David Freese, and all the heroics from last night’s thriller. The 5 blown leads, the ‘down to their last strike’ twice, all of those things have been covered very well over the past several hours. I thought Bernie’s piece in particular was one of many great reads on the topic, and Alyson Footer also wrote an interesting piece today–you should check them both out.

All I can do is write about what I know for sure.

  • There hasn’t been a World Series game 7 played in 9 years.
  • There hasn’t been a World Series game 7 played in St. Louis in 30 years
  • For tonight’s game 7 to happen, the Cardinals had to overcome impossible odds.
    • 10 ½ games out of the wildcard in the final week of August
    • They had to win. A lot; Atlanta had to collapse
    • They had to defeat the almighty World-Series-bound-since-December Phillies
    • They had to knock off Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and the Brewers in Milwaukee
  • The National League had to win the All-Star game for St. Louis to host game 7
So many stars had to line up just right for tonight’s World Series game 7 to be played in St. Louis tonight. So. Many. I can also tell you for sure that there is no way I wanted to miss an opportunity to be in the stands tonight. It’s a possible once-in-a-lifetime chance.

I’ve been to the old Yankee Stadium. I’ve been to two major league baseball games in two different cities in the same day. I’ve been to a double-header. I’ve been to National League Division Series games and National League Championship Series games in St. Louis. I’ve been to the All-Star game, the homerun derby, the legends, futures, and celebrity softball games in St. Louis. I’ve been sitting in the stands when a perfect game went into the 8th. I’ve been to a lot of very special games, seeing in person special milestones (and sometimes the milestone plus one). But, I have never been to a World Series game. I’ve had World Series tickets, but I’ve never been to a game.

Tonight, I will be wearing the same shirt I’ve been wearing for these games. I will (or maybe have, by the time you read this) eat what I’ve eaten, avoid shaving, and continue with almost every single one of my superstitious routines. I will not, however, be sitting in “my spot” on that couch for tonight’s game, though a part of me will be nervous for not doing so. I will instead be at tonight’s game at Busch. It is perhaps the most elusive of all games on my baseball bucket list, and tonight, attending a World Series game gets marked off the list. I can only hope that seeing a World Series-winning game also gets checked off tonight. Perhaps then, on Sunday afternoon, I can attend my second World Series parade & ceremony.

One thought on “Same-Same-Same-Same-Different

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