|Brandon Belt's HR in the 18th inning ended the madness.|
This team that barely made it into the post-season somehow managed to beat a team that was picked by Sports Illustrated (in their baseball preview) to win it all in four games of the 2014 NLDS. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe they would find a way to continue playing in October after what was a painful and pathetic June and July. I guess #ChampionshipBlood is real.
|The Reverend. Preacher Man Hunter Pence.|
A friend bought tickets to Game 3 at the conclusion of the regular season. I never even thought we would attend this game. The G-men played the Pittsburgh Pirates in a one-game wild card playoff. The Buccs had the winningest record at home of any MLB team. Bumgarner shut them out 8-0.
NLDS is a best of 5 series. The Giants headed to our nation's capital the next day and my fears worsened. I thought I would see the elimination game for the Giants. After winning the first two games on the road, I was privy to the opposite.
|Mad Bum was elevated to SuperHero Status.|
I drew closer to AT&T park, excited by the sea of orange and black, I began to sweat literally and metaphorically. As I began to wonder where I could leave my car for under $40, a parking spot miraculously opened up. It was if the skies open and a dove was sent down from heaven as I saw the charge was all of $5 on the meter for four hours; I pay that much on the street where I live for one. I left my blanket, down vest and running shoes in my car and headed to the yard in a skirt and flip flops. A slave to warm weather, I couldn't believe the temperature at the start of the game. Summer comes to San Francisco in October; so does baseball!
But committing to someone for better or for worse is part of the gig. Unfortunately, the Giants lost 3-0. We had such high hopes; the ace of the pitching staff Madison Bumgarner didn't get any run support. We exited the park in silence. The good news however, was that we had been there before. This relationship knew what to do.
And as witnessed in the 3-2 defeat of the Washington Nationals, they did it. Glory Be! The Giants are now headed to the National League Championship Series...Maybe even the World Series...I cant' believe it! They continue to inspire and excite me. Their success feels great. But if you were to ask me what I have enjoyed the most in all of this, it's something quite unexpected. Anyone in a relationship will understand what I am about to say.
When I got home after Game 3, crestfallen and a little bummed that I didn't see a division clinching moment, my roommate asked me "Are you glad you went? Was it worth it??" It's an honest question and it's a worthy question. My answer was and is, unequivocally "yes."
|At some point, we have to inquire about his leadership. #Excellence.|
And it's all part of the story that is ever being written. For me, it was one that really began in 1987. There were highlights in 1989. 2002 is still painful, but the magic of 2010 has made that much easier.
Pedro Arrupe, SJ has a beautiful prayer that speaks of the relationship that God seeks with us. One that is akin to falling in love. In it, Arrupe writes:
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.Right now, it feels a lot like my relationship with the San Francisco Giants.
I told me students today, I hope regardless of what happens in any relationship you have—good or bad, past or present that you can look back upon it and recognize it's worth it. This one sure is. Go Giants!