it's true. i originally got into baseball when i was younger because a boy i liked played baseball. in my defense, he was cute and athletic and I was 11.
he was an Indians fan, so naturally, I picked them up, too. and what a time to be an Indians fan! i'm talking 90's era Tribe, y'all. Sandy Alomar Jr, Omar Vizquel, Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome, Joey Belle (I'm never calling him Albert), Manny Ramirez. it was a beautiful time for baseball in northeast Ohio.
i took a huge interest in the team. i became invested. i learned the basics of the game. even played a little. and then, it happened. in 1995, the Indians beat the Mariners and were on to the World Series to play the Braves.
i. was. pumped.
but that wasn't their year. i had ridden the high and the low stunk so much. i remember being devastated and my dad and i really bonding over his kid experiencing Major League heartbreak.
two years later, it happened again. the Indians were headed to the World Series. and this time, it felt different. we were all fairly certain the Tribe was surely bringing it home for us. no more jokes. and goddammit. disaster struck. game 7, the Indians were up 2-0 until the bottom of the 7th. then it was 2-1. the Marlins tied it up in the bottom of the 9th, the game went into extras, and my young sports life flashed before my eyes. we all know how that game ended for Tribe fans. i sobbed. NOT AGAIN.
Edgar Renteria's 11th inning walk off STILL haunts me. every time i see it, or hear mention of it, i grimace.
this year, the Indians are headed to the playoffs. (and so are my second home team, the Cubs.) i've been asked how i feel, what are my predictions, etc ad nauseum.
so, here's my answer, i am at peace. i've seen my team have the title within their reach and it all fade away. initially, i was STRESSED. now? i'm good. I'm ready to ride the highs and lows of postseason baseball with lots of beer, lots of cussing, and my baseball homies.
but the dream lives on, i'm dreaming of champagne in October.