Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Astro's Apex

Our congratulations to the 2005 Chicago White Sox in their hard-won assumption of the title of World Series Champions of Baseball. The Houston Astros made it to the World Series for the first time in the team franchise history. The White Sox won the series for only the second time in their’s.

When I was a school kid I was not very athletic at all. Geeky glasses and very poor hand-eye coordination did not endear me to my peers when choosing up teams, and I learned at a very early age that a career in sports would be a foolish thing to which to aspire. Kids like me were why the teachers would say things like, “it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.”

Yeah, right. They never saw me play~

Later in my checkered academic career, when competition for school office, selection for an academic honor, or vying for a part in the annual musical production were up for grabs, and there could be only one winner, the soul-salving phrase was, “well at least you were up for consideration for the part.” Which was a back-handed turn of the same phrase coaches used on teams who made it to the play-offs, but no further.

I have employed similar logic many times this week to assuage the agony of die-hard Astros fans, and to bolster my own feeble appreciation of the Club’s accomplishments this year—I am Baseball’s most dis-interested observer. Up until this season, I thought a bunt was a round cake with a hole in the middle and sugar icing dribbled all over the top. They come in two flavors, lemon and chocolate.

But there is a resounding truth that rings in acknowledging the Astros’ amazing accomplishments this season—a team that very nearly didn’t make the wild-card cut, and was not the first pick for getting through the play-offs. And they played in the World Series. You have to let that fact sink in.

That accomplishment is truly a high point in any club’s history, and even this ambivalent observer recognizes the importance, achievement, and honor that is due the Astros for playing in the World Series.

Phyllis Diller once quipped that if it weren’t for baseball, many kids wouldn’t know what a millionaire looks like. If it weren’t for the 2005 Houston Astros, many kids might not see what heroes look like…short of a Veteran’s Day parade.

There can only be one winner. And in the World Series, only one team occupies that pinnacle. But the Astros went to the mountain.

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