By the time one reads this column, baseball will have already crowned its 113th world champion.
But if you’ve watched at least one millisecond of what’s been one of the most exciting Fall Classics in recent memory, then we’re all winners here.
That goes especially for those determined fans who stayed up until the wee-hours of the morning for the classic that was Game 5 of the series.
Halloween probably came a day early for those folks who walked into work last Monday looking like Frankenstein’s heir-apparent. Those deep black circles under the eyes, clammy skin and raspy voice seemed more ghoul than game-worn.
But by George Springer, it was all worth it.
All apologies to baseball purists, but watching Houston and Los Angeles trade hits, runs and momentum in what seemed like a live-version video game set on the “rookie” level is what we all hoped this series would end up being.
Sure, we all cringed at the prospect that neither bullpen could hold its water and make a stop when it counted.
But at the end of the night, no matter if the game was sloppy, or if the baseballs were (allegedly) made too slick to grasp, no one really cared.
Instead, we all reveled at the heroism players showed when it was their time to shine. We all marveled at the feats they put on display, which seemed to exponentially grow as the night wore on.
To put it more simply, Houston and Los Angeles made baseball much more fun to watch for the casual fan.
Perhaps that’s why this series has resonated with many across the country. This isn’t your typical fare of a pair of storied franchises that have won numerous titles over the years.
It also isn’t your run-of-the-mill series of pitching duels that can be boring to watch.
Seeing the attitudes, personalities and athletic abilities of the athletes makes people want to tune in.
In fact, it’s not often baseball beats professional football in the television ratings. Last week’s wild Game 5 drew in roughly 3 million more viewers than an okay NFL Sunday night contest.
But it will be hard for baseball to continue the same momentum.
Not every series can be as frenetic as this one. Truthfully, it’s probably not good for the health of the game to have such a downturn in pitching.
And yet, it’s also the kind of shot-in-the-arm baseball needs.
And it may also be what the Texas Gulf Coast needs, too.
A Houston World Series championship is what the battered region most desperately needs.
A beacon of light, a welcome and celebrated distraction to the ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey.
That’s what Houston needs. That’s what baseball needs.
But, no matter how it all turns out, baseball is, once again, victorious.