True, daylight savings is coming to an end this weekend, but that is not the reason today seems a little colder and darker than yesterday.
Baseball is over for another year. The annual marathon of a season ended, and the world somehow seems emptier for it. As I mentioned back at the beginning of the season, there is something very life affirming about the game, and its annual arrival in spring, and something that reminds you about the inevitability of decay, cold, and darkness when it leaves in the late days of October.
The Philadelphia Phillies have ended their 28 year drought ….. good for them. It had been 25 years since the so-called City of Brotherly Love had much to celebrate.
Recapping since 2001:
2001 – the Arizona Diamondbacks, in their third season, win the World Series.
2002 – the Anaheim Angels win their first ever World Series after waiting 41 years since their 1961 inception.
2003 – The Florida Marlins celebrate ten years as a major league club by winning their second World Series.
2004 – The Boston Red Sawks end an 86 year wait for a World Series championship.
2005 – The Chicago White Sox end an 88 year wait for a World Series championship.
2006 – The Cardinals end a 24 year wait with a World Series winner; that after an 83-78 year that saw them win with the worst record in history.
2007 – The Red Sox win their second World Series in 89 years (also their second in three years)
2008 – the losingest team in major league history, with over 12,000 losses, the Philadelphia Phillies become the last of the original 16 major league teams to win their second World Series; their first in 28 years.
It has been an amazing time for teams to win after long droughts, but long droughts remain:
The tough luck Pirates have now waited 30 years since their last World Series Championship ….. that was the Disco era “We are Fam-ah-lee” Pirates of Willie Stargell, and Dave “The Cobra” Parker. Just as bad, they haven’t even been back since. They are quickly approaching their team’s longest waits in history (33 years to get in, and 35 to win).
Despite great players, record smashing performances, and the antics of a moose that even Sarah Palin can’t shoot, the Mariners’ wait for their first World Series title now reaches 32 years.
The Rangers (48 years) and Astros (47 years) have never won the World Series since they opened for business a year apart. The Brewers, Padres, and Nationals all mark 40 years of waiting for their first World Series win next year.
The Cleveland Indians have waited 61 years now for a World Series party. Satchel Paige was a part of their last Series win in 1948. As a matter of fact, while the entire city of Philadelphia ended a 25 year championship drought with the Phillies’ win, poor Cleveland has been without a championship since 1964 when the Browns won the NFL Championship.
The Giants have not won the big one since moving to the Bay. Their last World Series win was 55 years ago, when they called the Polo Grounds and New York, home.
Then there is the team that, as of October 14, redefines “a long wait”.
Across there street from Wrigley Field, there is a sign which a fan long ago erected reading “Eamus Cauli” (Latin for “Go Cubs”) and the following numbers (as of last year): 006399. These numbers respectively represented the years since the last division title (zero), the last National League pennant (63), and the last World Series title (99). I wonder if, like McDonald’s, they will opt to keep the perpetual 99, or invest in a third digit. October 14 was the 100th anniversary of the last World Series title for the Cubs, and a win next year will not prevent the 101st anniversary from passing first.
For some fans, the wait is long and painful, but they still come out and support the team.
Without baseball, the world is just that much darker; even when you do have a long, nearly perpetual wait to deal with.