For one night, at least, baseball was America’s game again.
After rain and lost leads and 108 years, the Chicago Cubs are what we Americans have always called “world champions,” even though Cleveland is only a five-hour drive from Chicago, along I-90 across the old Rust Belt from Lake Michigan to Lake Erie, from one aging, troubled city to another.
Two of major league baseball’s oldest teams, each is a charter member of its own league: Cleveland in 1901; Chicago a year later. And as last night’s rosters make clear – with names like Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis and Coco Crisp, Kyle Schwarber and Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo – after all those years, they are still a pretty good microcosm of modern America.
Like the Cubs, I’m also on the road, driving south to a swing state to do what I can to elect Hillary Clinton our next president and therefore defeat Donald Trump. This is the most important election of my lifetime, as so many of the things I have long believed in – civil and human rights, taking caring of the earth, inclusion, community, diversity, tolerance – are in jeopardy, and the America I want my children to inherit and make better is at stake.
Sometimes this election seems like it, too, has been going on for 108 years, and so I’m taking my cues from the world champions: “On Wednesday night,” wrote New York Times sportswriter Billy Witz, “the Cubs did not so much beat the Indians as survive them.”