You may be wondering why I am writing this post so late. So long after. I’ve been a Phillies fan for over a year now and a Reds for just one short season. I’ve been to Phillies games and I’ve posted about the excitement and the energy of being at a game and watching my team win. I usually can’t wait to talk about it.
Last night’s experience watching the Reds take the NL Central Championship is like nothing I can really describe. This is the main reason I didn’t do more than post pictures thus far. I had to have almost a full 24 hours to wrap my head around the experience before I could truly get down what last night was like.
If you’ve been around this blog or over at Blogging Mama, you know I love baseball. I love every bit and part and fact and even all the incessant stats that go along with it. Baseball is a religion. I’m not the person who originally wrote that but I believe it with all my heart.
Just like I believe the Reds can do anything.
The game started pretty much like most others for me. I arrived early (actually later than my usual, about six o’clock.) I wandered into the stadium and right away I felt it. The Magic was on the tip of everyone’s fingers. No one really dared to say the words out loud, Division Champions, to do so would jinx the entire thing. Baseball and it’s fans are nothing if not superstitious.
I made my way to the designated Moon Deck where I had planned to be a part of the Reds Tweet Up event (more info here). I sat watching the players warm up, the fans start to trickle in and that feeling of anxiety started. What if I witnessed something spectacular tonight? What if Reds fans finally got to see their team walk off as a victor?
That pulsing energy never really left and it only grew as the grounds crew finished their preparations and the players were announced. I found myself sitting next to several lovely ladies, and we chatted idly about the Reds. They were both longtime fans, I was the newbie. It didn’t matter much; we were all excited and slightly nervous for what was to come.
I have to pause because I can’t recall the words I want to use to describe the actual game. It was tough and a battle from the get-go. When Drew Stubbs (a player who deserves so much recognition in my eyes) made that heart stopping catch; I was right there, mere twenty feet away, if that. The crowd, myself included, went absolutely wild. We were celebrating not only a spectacular catch, but a moment that had Magic written all over it. If that ball had had a little more to it, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this today. Maybe I would still be writing about the hopeful win of the Reds.
The fans are amazing. Just as they grumble and gripe, those around me truly believed in the Magic of the Reds. Listening to the group of men behind me heckling, nothing made me smile more.
With the Reds down a run, then tied, everyone was on their feet screaming and yelling; I don’t know if my voice or my hands have recovered from all of that yet. I don’t even know if I truly can see Bruce stepping to the plate, it’s all so jumbled up in a blurry vision of…if I had to say anything it would be pride. I’m proud of the way the Reds battled for a good pitch staying alive and working so hard to get not only themselves but also their fans what they deserved; a Championship Title.
When that ball just kept going and going, myself like everyone around me and everyone in the stadium went crazy. Jumping. Screaming. Hugging. Absolute and total elation lifted the crowd as the fireworks went off and the Reds converged on the field in triumph. I can’t even write those words without getting chills.
It was such a moment in my early love of baseball, that I don’t think I will ever forget it. I’ll be telling my children about it for years. The celebration on the field went on long after I, reluctantly, had to leave for home. I wish I could have stayed. But I took that elated and energized feeling home with me and carried it long into the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep. Even today, I’m sitting in awe unable to process what I had the honor of being able to witness.
For me it was, and has, been an honor to share in the Reds 2010 season. I am a fan. And I believe in Magic.
Originally published at The (Virgin’s) Guide To Baseball