October is upon us . . . which means many many things.
There are a ridiculous number of great shows happening soon. Pick any venue, from Bound Stems at El Cid to the Detour Festival to Jose back in town to the Decemberists and Sufjan and the Hold Steady and . . . man, I could go on forever. But, I am not. Which brings me back to my point: October is upon us.
October is upon us and today marks a grand day as the Dodgers take on the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS. Upon moving to NY, I went to many Yankees games, but soon found my true calling at Shea Stadium watching the Mets play. I am not sure what it is, but something about Mr. Met really makes me smile. I like the way I feel wearing my Mets hat around NY. It was like I was part of a small club. I found myself checking the standings daily, just so when some super fan approached me on the subway, I could say "3 games out of first. Lets keep it up".
Then, something drastic happened. Well, two drastic things happened. 1) I moved to LA and 2) The Mets got good. Like really good. I struggled with my ideas of loving a losing franchise the same way I struggle with the Decemberists being on Capitol Records and playing the Wiltern. And on top of that, Angel extraordinaire (and part time blogger) Chone Figgins would keep hooking me up with tickets to the Big A so, I put my love for David Wright aside and bought a Angels T-shirt. As the season went on and the Angels flirted with first, I went to my share of Angels games and enjoyed them. They are a strong franchise. Mike Scioscia is as good as they come and I would not want to meet Vladimir Guerrero in a dark alley. But, my heart wasn't in it. I love baseball and more over, I love what baseball means. I love that baseball means more than just a game. The Young Adult novel, "In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson" by Bette Bao Lord hits on that theme exactly:
"Baseball is not just another sport. America is not just another country. In our national pastime, each player is a member of a team, but when he comes to bat, he stands alone. One man. Many opportunities. For no matter how far behind, how late in the game, he, by himself can make a difference. He can change what has been. He can make it a new ballgame.
In the life of our nation, each man is a citizen of the United States, but he has the right to pursue his own happiness. For no matter what his race, religion or creed, be he pauper or president, he has the right to speak his mind, to live as he wishes within the law, to elect our officials and stand for office, to excel. To make a difference. To change what has been. To make a better America.
And so can you! And so must you!"
When you read that, you don't think of Anaheim. You think of storied franchises fighting their way back and trying to make their city love them again. The Dodgers over the last few weeks have become incredibly fun to watch and I look forward to cheering them on today. And so can you. And so must you!