Thursday, October 31, 2019

WE WIN!! ⚾ 2019 World Series Champions ⚾

What a bunch of hootin-n-hollerin we let out in this house in the early hours of the morning of the last day of October in this unforgettable year of 2019.

The Washington Nationals did it! They won it all!!

I won't pretend that we "never gave up" on the 2019 Nationals. We weren't "believers" in May, when the Nats were 19-31. We'd been through this before. And there they were, back in May, after a mediocre 2018, with new injuries, with all the problems in the bullpen. We thought, "Nope, nope, nope. Ain't gonna happen."

But as the Summer wore on, hopes awoke ... maybe we could salvage a halfway decent season. At some point we realized that this was a pretty good team. A persistent team. A spirited team, a fun team, a clutch team, a comeback team.

Winning 8 straight games to finish with 93 wins and a "wild card" spot in the playoffs made us proud. With "Baby Shark" and all that pizazz, the Nats were a memorable and admirable ball club. They kept things loose and had a great attitude, but they also played hard and they played to win. They were an exciting team. Way to go, Nats!

It had turned out to be an excellent season. Of course, in the playoffs they were just wild cards, but really we figured that whatever winning they did in the playoffs would be "icing on the cake." We wouldn't have blamed them for losing to the Dodgers or the Braves or the Yankees or the Astros...

Anything can happen in baseball, after all. And, boy, did it happen! Indeed, this team made things happen.

The Nationals were down to the Brewers, down to the Dodgers, and down to the Astros, and they came back every time. All those comebacks were more than luck, more than coincidence.

These guys proved that they're winners.

So many players deserve credit: Strasburg, Scherzer, Sánchez, Corbin, Rendon, Soto, Zimmerman, Turner, Eaton, Suzuki, Robles and many more. One player stands out for me: an old school ball player, a veteran, who had a great season, and then hit the division-series-winning grand slam against the Dodgers, and another homer that scored the winning run in game seven of the World Series in Houston: Howie Kendrick.

The 2019 Washington Nationals are World Series Champions. It's the first World Series win for a Washington baseball team since 1924. It's the first championship for our own Nats, who came here in 2005.

John Paul was 8 years old when we started rooting for the Nationals. He grew up with the Nats. We went to games, and we watched game after game after game, year after year after year on television. There were some hilariously awful teams, quite a few mediocre teams, and then some division winning teams that couldn't get past the first series in the playoffs.

John Paul finally got a local champion in hockey when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018. Given the years of frustrating playoff drama and failure with the Caps, that was profoundly satisfying.

But we really needed one for baseball.

Eileen and I were happy to be with our son and his fiancée Emily and other friends at our own Game Seven TV watching party, and to see the Nats win it all. WooHoo!!