The Cubs win in the World Series was more than just a win for the Cubs team, organization, and fans, it was a win for real honest-to-goodness baseball.
Democratic baseball, as Kinsella called it, baseball that is won by a team working together, chipping out hits, walks, runs, and outs inning by inning. Not won by one or two superstars blasting grand slams and homeruns – though they did have a grand slam in game 6.
Take a look at the score card on game 7. Eight runs on 13 hits, with RBI for eight batters. In other words, every Cubs run was batted in by a different player. In 39 at-bats, they got 13 hits and four walks, with only five strikeouts. Every batsman except one (Heyward, who had a great night in right field) got either a hit or a SF. That’s good baseball at the plate.
They turned some beautiful double plays, made some great pickoffs, and generally through the series played excellent, sharp baseball on the field – with a few notable exceptions by young players trying too hard to do too much under the pressure of must-win playoff games. The pitching was not always blow-your-eyebrows off stuff, but it was work that relied on the catchers and the other infielders to do their jobs well. And they did. Consistently. Good solid baseball.
Baseball that makes one believe in the virtue of sport, in the value of any human activity undertaken with conviction and heart. Baseball that plays out that one great theme of all literature, that great theme of our lives: the luminous possibility of redemption by the power of the human spirit.