By: Gabe Nisker
Much of my childhood was founded upon sports. At a young age, I attached myself to the winning teams, picked favourite players and loved playing catch or shooting hoops. So, it’s no surprise to me at least that the World Series is basically a week’s worth of holidays. As a result, I found myself rooting harder than ever before to have the Blue Jays in there. Now, that’d be doubly special.
Once the Jays clinched a playoff spot, I felt like having a champagne celebration, just like the team was. When Eddie hit a walkoff homer to send us to Texas, I was there in my first base side seat, 24 rows up, high-fiving strangers and hugging friends. It felt like I was walking on water, it was pure elation. When Joey Bats hit a 3-run HR to cap off a resounding Game 1 victory in Texas, I watched every minute on TV, celebrating while Estrada twirled a masterpiece and the bats rolled their way through Cole Hamels and the rest of the Texas pitching staff. Game 2 was far more stressful but the end result: still joy. And when Donaldson dashed towards home? When he scored on that Rougned Odor error? It was poetic. I nearly cried, I’ll be honest.
Baseball’s always been super special to me, even compared to many of those other sports. It’s cerebral, it’s thoughtful and it’s an anomaly. It’s a team sport, comprised of so many little individual actions. I continue to argue with friends about whether it’s more difficult to hit a golf ball or a baseball. (Obviously it’s a baseball! It’s moving, it’s harder and it can be breaking and moving in so many different ways).
But back to the Jays. When the team’s wheels finally came to a stop, when that pesky Cleveland baseball team grinded its way to 4 victories, I accepted it. Begrudgingly, of course. How could I accept defeat? They’d come this far. How could I accept defeat? Cleveland spent its drunk celebration harping on what Jose Bautista had said. But you know what? I accepted defeat. It was necessary. I now watch this fantastic Cubs-Indians World Series with great joy and a great lesson learned.
How you react to the tough situation, those losses? That’s what makes you who you are. Handle adversity and figure out who you are. Even if you don’t handle it well, you’ve learned something about yourself. Even if you can’t overcome it this time, you’ve learned what to do better next time. And that’s what baseball teaches me, time and time again.Baseball’s formed me from the ground up. And I’ll always remember where I was when I watched Eddie hit a walkoff homer in the wild card game. I was in Section 116R, Row 24, Seat 2 at the Rogers Centre.