It’s October. While the fall is my favorite, if all-too-brief season thanks to gorgeous colors, perfect days to be spent in the kitchen, and boots-and-sweater weather, it’s also one last nod to the summer sports by playing host to their postseason. This is both a blessing and a curse: If you’re anything like me, you’ll find ideas popping into your head for posts all day long, only to be shoved aside in the evenings by an obsession with a little sporting event called The Fall Classic.
I grew up in an area where baseball did NOT rule the sports landscape – it was, and is, ALL hockey, ALL the time. To be fair, football gets a fair nod in the fall, until the weather turns cold enough for everyone to flood their backyards into ice rinks. But baseball was never on the radar – the closest MLB team is a 6+ hour drive away.
Funny how one sport can steal your heart when you date a lifelong, die-hard Red Sox fan. To become that intimately acquainted with the game, over the course of not one, but two postseason knock-down drag-outs with the Yankees, much less the fans of both, left a huge impression on me for the seasons to come. I fell for the Americana factor of baseball; I fell for the vast variety of backgrounds players came to the game from; I was done for by the boyish charm of grown men jumping like children and erupting in joy with each progressive postseason win. Grown men, all unified by the drive to win and a tiny glimmer of misfit personality in each of their eyes.
Unsurprisingly, I’m a huge fan of this man:
The Giants’ own No. 55 and proud owner of back-to-back NL Cy Young Awards, Tim Lincecum, aka “The Freak” and “The Franchise”. Watching this kid throw, with a wicked fastball and a downright nasty changeup, my appreciation for the game – and anybody who’s able to get a decent hit off of him – grows mightily. Watching him, as well as the rest of his very underrated team deny the Phillies of a third NL pennant tonight, was pretty damn sweet. These Giants are a mix of youngsters and journeymen, SF veterans and players brought on who were making their way through the fold – case in point NLCS MVP Cody Ross. It’s a team with a mix of a scrawny ace pitcher and an infielder affectionately known as “Panda” for his overwhelming size. Nobody but their fans saw these Giants coming, and they fought their way on to my beloved sport’s grandest stage.
Orange October didn’t just get an extension. It’s just warming up.