I know, it’s cliche, it’s as old as baseball itself, and everyone who’s ever watched even one postseason game says it: October is the best time of year. I’m not just saying it because my birthday’s in October or because my team made it to the postseason this year. Last year, with a more than dismal season under our belts and the high possibility of trading our star player hanging over our heads, I still watched. I still rooted. And I still felt a bit of the rush.
What is it about October baseball that’s so captivating? Why do we stick around through six months and 162 games just for one month of play between only 8 of the 30 teams we begin the season with? I think I have the answer. Because in October, anything’s possible.
We see it every year. Looking back on 2007, who would have ever thought that one spectacular run and what many still call the most controversial safe call ever, that the Rockies would have made it all the way to the World Series. I’m not sure anyone thought it was possible. And, as disappointing as that World Series was for any and all Rockies fans, we still look on that 2 months of baseball with pride and joy. Some of us even continue to relive the memories in any number of ways. I still have newspaper clippings, photos, and programs from the games I was at. And, even if there is little to no love lost between many of us and Mr. Holliday, we still smile like we have the secret to life when asked about that fateful night and whether or not he touched the plate.
Last year, watching the Rays make their run to the Series was amazing. And, while I was rooting for the Phillies just because AL baseball isn’t real baseball, I enjoyed every minute of that young team’s success.
Last night, watching the Tigers/Twins game was possibly the greatest rush I’ve had since the ’07 play-in game. While I don’t necessarily have any emotional investment in either team, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the spirit of the game, the spirit of the Metrodome, and cheer like crazy when Carlos Gomez crossed the plate in what will be a much talked about (though not debated) winning run.
So, in this year, when, for the first time ever, the postseason will run to November, we’ll still be calling it October baseball. We’ll still be bundling up for games in Colorado, Missouri, Philadelphia, New York, and Minnesota, and we’ll root for the team of our own fancy. And for those whose teams didn’t make it? Don’t lie, you’ll watch, too, because the spirit of that cool wind that runs through every baseball fan’s veins will catch you, too. It’s what dreams are made of, and the stories we’ll tell our kids and grandkids, the same as our elders told us. These are the days we’ll remember for all time.