W: a Baseball Fairy Tale

The 2016 World Series for non-baseball fans

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Would you like to hear a bedtime story?

Yes, the child said.

So…

Once upon a time there were two bands of merry men. The ones from a land called Chicago called themselves after little baby bears. The others from a land called Cleveland had an inappropriate tradition of calling themselves after native people. They both fought their way through a series of challenges to meet for their final challenge, called the World Series.

Did the whole world fight? the child asked.

Well, no, it’s really just a challenge for one country and a single team in another country. But if the whole world cared about this sport, they were still sure they’d be the best.

The child asked, Are there any princesses in this story?

No princesses, but there are lots of diamonds.

It had been 68 years since Cleveland had won this final challenge, though they had been back to try a few times since. But Chicago had not even made it to the World Series for 71 years and it had been 108 years since they had won it. For years fans remained loyal and said, Next year. But others doubted they would ever break the curse and return.

Are you sure it was 108? the child asked. Sleeping Beauty’s curse lasted for 100 years.

Yes, I’m sure. These merry men and their fans keep exacting statistics.

So, Cleveland and Chicago battled on Cleveland’s diamond. Cleveland won. Then Chicago won. The battle moved to Chicago. Cleveland won two in a row, before Chicago came back and won again. Back in Cleveland, Chicago soundly defeated Cleveland, tying the series 3-3.

It was the final night of the fight. Across the Midwest a storm raged, pelting city after city with rain and hail. But in Cleveland all was well. The challenge began.

Chicago took off with a home run. Chicago fans’ hopes were high. Cleveland fought back. Then Chicago surged ahead, before Cleveland came back hitting. It was the bottom of the ninth. The score was tied 6-6. Fans were in despair.

That’s when the storm reached Cleveland. The rain started slowly at first, then heavier and heavier. The tied game was delayed.

So it was a tie? the child asked.

No, there are no ties in Baseball. The game goes on until someone wins.

Around the country, people sat on the edge of their seats in anxiety and anticipation, while others held their eyes opened and looked at the time, and wondered when the game could continue.

Seventeen minutes, or an eternity later, the rain lifted and the game continued. As the ninth inning ended, the teams remained tied, 3-3 games, the score 6-6.

In the top of the tenth inning a sincere young knight from Chicago hit a line drive, sending a runner to home. Another knight drove in a second run. In the bottom of the tenth, Cleveland tried to strike back, but they were one run shy.

With that, the 108 year curse was ended and the little bears from Chicago were the champions.

Is that the end? the child asked.

Yep, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years.

That was a good story, the child said. But I still like princesses better.

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