Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saved By Baseball. by John Parulis
There’s something going on in the USA right now- changes and challenges. Perhaps not since the Great Depression has the US been faced with such serious mounting economic and social problems. The experts say things will be getting worse. My mom told me that when she was a kid growing up in the Depression, that people and communities helped each other. It seems like we’re being called on to turn in this direction again, and we have the signs on how it’s to be done.
I point to the 2008 Boston Red Sox. Yes, a baseball team, but not an ordinary baseball team. In 2004 Boston beat all the odds to come back from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees to win the American league pennant race and then go on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4 zip in the World Series. The doubters were far flung and pretty vocal, but some say “magic” prevailed. Yes, magic did prevail and now, against the Tampa Bay Rays, a similar story is being played out again. Down 3 games to 1, the Red Sox came back from the crypt to tie the series and play the final game 7 tonight in the 2008 American League pennant race. The Red Sox are a kind of ‘spiritual team’ in that they mirror for the country as a whole, the stuff it takes to overcome tremendous odds and defeat.
They’ve shown on so many occasions, that persistence, great team work, focus and talent can beat the odds. They do it in style, with grace and with authority. Pitcher Jonathan Paplebon, typifies this spirit best of all, in the Red Sox club house. The guy even looks like he meditates before ascending the mound to deliver his Zen like flurry of well placed pitches. Red Sox baseball, the “American Pastime” has become a metaphor for triumph and survival in hard times. Seeing one team do it and not be fazed by the specter of loss is an inspiration that travels deep into the hearts and minds of the soul of America. It sticks with kids facing similar challenges in their own lives, and it sticks with grown ups, thereby bridging generations with a message a hope that is unifying and uplifting. The US needs the Red Sox like it needs fresh air. The country was pretty much born in Boston, so it isn’t so surprising that the path to a greater way of being would come from that same blessed city by the Atlantic. And yes, by a baseball team no less.