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Baseball And Bitterness
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Last week we paused as a country for a solid 24 hours to celebrate a great American past time, baseball.

In an election year, with much heated discussion, opinion, disbelief and yes, even disgust I found myself grateful. Not to be confused, I am grateful for my right to vote and I do believe it to be the civic duty of Americans to exercise this right, even if it is a circus.

Unfortunately, this election (in my opinion – a ‘mommy musing’) has forced us to relook at our moral compass a bit differently. The words ‘choose which one is the least worse’ were not uncommon and that saddens me.

By the time this goes to print the decision will have been made or a historical moment will be unfolding in front of us in the way of … God knows what.

Today, I’d rather talk about baseball. It is after all the All American sport and while my team did not grace the field, watching the Indians and Cubs fight for the title was a nice and welcome distraction.

Now, I could be like a lot of front runners and share how I was rooting for the Cubs because my family hails from Illinois. I have many fond memories of my great aunt sitting close to her television in her San Francisco home cheering on her Cubbies. As she grew older, she simply sat closer and the TV got louder, but there she sat, holding her bear and rooting for her boys. Beautiful memories.

Sadly, she did not live to watch the history of the 112th World Series or see her Cubbies take the W, yet many did and that’s what I’m grateful for.

Personally, I was one of the five not rooting for the Cubbies. Bitterness is a funny and ugly thing. So is poor sportsmanship. That’s what seeing the Cubs take the W reminded, as well as taught me.

My girlfriend and her hubby are diehard Cubbies fans. They fly the W on their back patio faithfully. When we went head to head with them in the playoffs I shared words with her I somehow forgot. ‘Regardless of outcome, the better team will advance.’

I felt that at the time and then … the Giants lost and it stung. We were playing the type of postseason ball I had become accustomed to, ‘even’ year aside, I just knew we would be in the final two.

We were also playing against a ‘closer’ we had passed on and who showed fans from both teams he was worth his $12 million paycheck. Now that’s the bitterness talking, but it does sting.

The irony of course is the timing and the teaching which is happening in our home. No one likes to lose, but yet we can’t always win.

So last week as I drove my duo to school, I found myself reminding them to be excited for any friends they had that were excited by the Cubbies win. I spoke to them about what it means to be gracious and reminded them of the joy we as ‘fans’ and as family have been privy to.

They recalled seeing their Poppy cry for the first time, when the Giants took the title in 2010. Then the W Flag they’ve watched our friends hang while visiting their Arizona home.

As we spoke and recounted all these things I was reminded of what it truly means to be both joyful and gracious. That’s the true beauty of sport and parenting. Both have the ability to teach us great lessons in critical times, as well as humble us when we may need it most.

Thanks for the lesson, Cubbies and diehard fans alike. Congrats on a hard fought win and a moment in time which will rival the best of them for decades to come.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.