If you haven't noticed, the month of October is by far the best sports month, with the NFL in full swing, the NBA and NHL ramping up, college football already taking shape and soccer doing their thing. The catalyst that drives it all, though, is major league baseball.
With the Cleveland Indians punching their ticket to the World Series yesterday, their victory proved why fall baseball is the best around, with drama, strategy and luck coming into play. And as the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers battle it out in the National League, fans can only hope that the drama continues as both wrestle for their position in the Fall Classic.
So why is the crack of a bat this time of year still the sweetest sound in sports? Here are the reasons.
Joe Carter and Kirk Gibson cemented their baseball legacies with walk-offs, and now live in the hearts of Blue Jays and Dodgers fans forever. Even Aaron Boone’s walk-off in 2003 makes us remember him as a better player than he actually was. The emotion within those 2-3 seconds of the ball leaving the yard is hard to describe. It’s nerve-racking, timeless, and beautiful. Some will say a three-pointer at the buzzer or a Hail Mary is just as exciting, but, nope, it's a walk-off dinger.
2. Every Team Has A Chance
When a team gets to October, anything can happen—and the Indians have proved that by overcoming injuries and taking an untraditional approach to pitch management. The playing field is more level in postseason baseball. There’s no Tom Brady that can carry a team alone. No super team inevitably. October is a time for guys like Bucky "Bleepin'" Dent and David Freese to make their legacies.
3. Pitching Matchups
You can’t have Clayton Kershaw for every game. Or Corey Kluber. Or even F'in Cy Young! In a seven-game series for the NBA Finals, you’re pretty much getting the same starters and bench players every night. October is where managers earn their paychecks. There’s a risk and reward with going with your ace on three days rest or relying on your bullpen to get you out of jams. Pitch counts, strategic matchups and the uneasiness of what the near-future brings is enough to drive a man insane.
4. Fans Become Famous
Normal people that no one had ever heard of are now household names—and they're not even players! Just ask Steve Bartman and Jeffrey Maier. If you’re lucky enough to inject yourself in a play to affect the outcome of a game or swing the momentum of a series, well, your Wikipedia page will be up by midnight.
5. Curses Break. Cities Cry
The Red Sox coming back from a 3-0 deficit and breaking the curse of the Bambino in 2004 was a moment not just for Boston, but also for America. Will the Cubs break the 108-year drought in 2016? Will Cleveland win its second major sports title in 2016 and remain as this year's "City of Champions"? Will the Dodgers win it all for the first time since 1988? We’ll see, and we’ll wait with baited breath, on every. single. pitch.
Josh Womack is the head writer of Laugh Staff. He writes hilarious speeches.
Lead image via Robert Sullivan