What First Place Means To Me

A few years ago I read a book—well, listened to an audiobook—called Faithful. One of my favorite authors, Stephen King, and his friend Stuart O’Nan, a native of Pittsburgh, wrote every single day about the 2004 Boston Red Sox’s season.

Shortly after the halfway point in that season—which to the shock of the authors and western civilization resulted in a Sawks World Series victory—they described a stretch of games in which the Red Sox were competing for a playoff spot.

It was relentless. Every single day they were up or down, they won or lost, the Yankees won or lost, the other Wild Card competitors won or lost. Every single game mattered, even if they were not playing, every single day there were meaningful games being played.

I realized that while I’ve experience the Penguins making it to the post-season and the Steelers getting there just as regularly, this baseball race was different. Hockey has its lulls, and football has buckets of build up during the week and it’s over by 7 o’clock on Sunday.

No other sport had this all day everyday non-stop nervous energy, but first place gives hope that we’ll get to feel it.

Having almost completed college, I have never had the opportunity to root for a contending baseball team. It wouldn’t shock me in the least if I had to wait a few more years to get that chance, but the Pirates are in first place now, and my first pennant race is possibly right around the corner.

Let’s go Bucs.

Thanks to McEffect for inspiring this post.

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