Monday, November 1, 2010 – Friday, October 28, 2011
“A man’s delight in looking forward to and hoping for some particular satisfaction is a part of the pleasure flowing out of it, enjoyed in advance. But this is afterward deducted, for the more we look forward to anything the less we enjoy it when it comes.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
I watched the final inning of game seven with remote in hand and my finger on the power button. Realizing what was about to happen, I had sulked up the stairs and into bed to watch the game’s conclusion just a half hour earlier. When the final fly ball left the bat of David Murphy with an inadequate trajectory, I shut my TV off before the out was recorded. I didn’t want to see it. I couldn’t bear to watch the end of my enduring dream and the oncoming celebration of my disappointment by tens of thousands in St. Louis.
Although I couldn’t watch highlights, read blogs, or go anywhere near anything mentioning the final outcome for a couple of days, I realized that I should actually be happy. No, I’m not satisfied with the Rangers simply winning the pennant. That was sooo 2010. Instead, I appreciate the thought of the 2011 World Champion Texas Rangers that existed for such a long time. While, the title was never consummated, the notion existed at the forefront of my mind, and was the source of year-long baseball exuberance.
The entity which was the 2011 World Champion Texas Rangers was born on Monday, November 1, 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz to end the 2010 season, and while the 2010 dream ended, it gave birth to a new one – the realistic possibility that Texas could take the next step in 2011.
The 2011 World Champion Texas Rangers existed. They existed both for me and for countless others. They existed in the collective minds of Rangers fans, and the mere thought of the club’s first title was a constant source of joy and optimism that occupied the sidelines of our imaginations, and was always available to be brought into consciousness whenever we needed a lift.
The 2011 champions were real. There are probably Guatemalans walking the streets of Guatemala City wearing t-shirts to prove it.
They existed until they were knocked into critical condition by David Freese in game six, and met their ultimate demise only a day later.
I’ve always been an animal lover, and the heartbreak of the Rangers loss was all too familiar. To me, the death of the entity/dream/thought was as painful as the loss of a family pet. My life has always been brightened by a number of pets, and naturally, most of them have passed. I’ve always responded by welcoming a new kitten into my world, and slowly come to love the new pet as much as I did my former companion. Over time, my love of the new pet has always come to pass the memory of the old one. As hard as it is to accept, and will continue to be for some time, the 2011 dream has passed.
As I come to terms with what wasn’t, I’ve discovered that there is actually something to be very excited about: The 2012 World Champion Texas Rangers are born, and their presence in our minds will soon outstrip any lingering heartache from 2011.