At our Thanksgiving table, my husband had to give a speech about the wonder of the San Francisco Giants. You see, his brother lives in SF and we live here, and the rivalry between the brothers during the World Series of course had to result in a bet to humiliate the loser in front of the family at the very next holiday.
So my brother-in-law purchased a T-shirt lauding the Giants for winning and a Panda hat and my lovely husband took it in stride, donned the costume and delivered the following speech on Thursday. I have to say, I was brimming with pride to hear what he put together. It’s rather eloquent and metaphorical and I thought, yes, that’s why we’re so well-matched.
I had to share it with the world so today’s blog post is Dan Golodner’s speech on how baseball has been very good to him and to the American people.
The most popular game in America today is a brutal blood sport of football.
Words in football represent oppression: tackle, shove, hold, hitting. Whereas in baseball, here I am borrowing from George Carlin, baseball terms used are in the most part calming. “I want to put on my cap and go home and be safe at HOME.”
Baseball is about life, about beauty and what is good in human nature. And of course occasionally, only occasionally as in life, we have to slam hard into home to get a point across. But not when you waive in Prince Fielder from 1st!
In football if you lose a couple of games, especially in college, you are done. Contrast that with baseball. The Tigers were picked to win their division at the beginning of the season and that was it. We were cursed by Sports Illustrated once again, our bats turned cold, we relied on power more than anything. We squeaked in the last week to poke our tongue out at the dreaded White Sox.
The Giants….well they were not even picked to be first with all eyes on Kirk Gibson creating a solid team in Arizona. And they were proving it in August – Pence was hitting .177, Cabrera out on drugs, and their pitching was weak…but glimmers of greatness from Posy and Belt sparked the team from drudging around with the Dodgers and moving into first to win their division.
All summer these teams faced ups and downs only to come out on top. That’s baseball. That’s life.
Baseball is about redemption after defeat. In what other sport can you get a hit only one out of three times, basically failing two third of the time and get to the hall of fame?
What player can hit .330, crack a home run 44 times after being at bat 622 times and only had 139 RBIs. And be hailed as the Triple Crown winner! Really those are not good odds!
Thank God life is not like football or we would all be out by now! What other sport allows such failure and still those teams make it to the World Series?
We are in a period of our society in which is made up with egotism and individualism. Baseball, with some exceptions remains a true team sport.
Certainly there are those on all teams that do one thing and do one thing either well or bad. The Tigers….well our closer is now gone. While with the Giants there were a couple of guys that stood out like Romo, Posey and I’ll throw in the Panda for his big fat 3 wallups in the first game. What they did for the team from San Francisco was to do what they do well as individuals, but also bring together the team as a whole; to unite the team every day, and night so when the took the field, the were one.
When Detroit took on the field, they took it on as individuals, hoping for Justin to do well, for Cabrera or Prince to rock one, it never appeared because they were not in the game as the game is to be played, as a team.
So my hat off to the teams that were never supposed to be there. The Giants and the Tigers never said never and continued to pound away every inch to get to the World Series and the one that survived in amazing 4 game sweep were the Giants who never lost that child-like glee in playing the game.
The Giants were the better team by all accounts.
In life we are not about winning at all costs. It is about the character of the soul, about inner beauty and goodness.
Baseball is beautiful in every aspect of the game because it is a parable to our lives. The stack of life is loaded against us but we keep swinging at the pitches coming 100 mph and have the support of friends and family as the team to carry you through.
Baseball is what we can be, be our best. This is to the San Francisco Giants, the best of the season of 2012.