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A team with heart
A team's magic
The game of baseball at times conjures up noble and wonderful attributes of courage, inspiration and heart. It is a testament to those special teams that seem to come from nowhere and surprise us with their spirit and their drive to be the very best. Watching the game as a young boy I learned of a team with such heart that truly stunned the world, the Amazin' New York Mets of 1969. It is why I have been a fan of the team throughout my life because of those special moments and memories I shared watching them with my mom as a young boy. These are the special moments of baseball that stay with us for a lifetime and seem to find a special place in our hearts and minds that we share with others whenever we are reminded of the team. It is sometimes a wonder how a team can affect us in such ways in pursuit of a world series championship.
It is a dream for every boy who plays little league baseball and follows the game to be in a game seven of the major league world series with the chance to deliver for the team and forge on to victory. A game designed for kids and played by men for big financial gain is far reaching and impacts many not only for the financial rewards but for the intangibles that every major league baseball team and player wishes for of being known as the world series champion and being loved and cheered for by the fans. For a fan there is no financial benefit at stake in winning the world series but we all feel very happy and proud if our team does the impossible and wins it all. It is a wonderful feeling if you are 8 years old like I was in 1969 or 98 years old like some of those long suffering Boston Red Sox fans still alive cheering their team to the world series championship once again in 2004 after a long drought since trading away Babe Ruth after their last championship they remembered as young kids.
A team that certainly seems destined to be the "Cinderella team" today and the next world series champion undoubtedly has to be the Texas Rangers. I am struck by the team's unity and the team's chemistry with the makeup of the ball players who seem like a great bunch of guys who you can't help but root for. One player on the team who is the very essence of spirituality and miraculous comebacks not only in the game of baseball but in his personal life is Josh Hamilton. Ever since seeing him in the 2008 All Star Home run derby held at Yankee stadium, it's final season of play there before being replaced with the New Yankee stadium, it was an inspiring show of incredible skill and dedication and an awesome display of strength and beauty with Josh hitting 28 home-runs in the first round which was a major league record. Despite placing second in the derby Josh was the main story and his many challenges with drug and alcohol addiction had been well documented as was his performance that night that turned him into a household name and a very special person who has done so much outside of the game helping troubled youth to find the strength to turn their life around and kick their addiction. For Josh his sense of purpose and his values make him a true champion regardless of the outcome of the 2010 World Series matchup (106th) of the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants.
When you root for a team there are many reasons and I would have to say that the 2010 Texas Rangers have found many new fans this year with their indomitable spirit and their never say die attitude in their stunning defeat of the New York Yankees in the playoffs. It was quite a turnaround of events since their stunning game one loss in which the Yankees rallied from a 5-1 deficit to defeat the Texas Rangers and position themselves in the drivers seat. The Texas Rangers managed to turn public opinion however and stun the experts in their prediction of a Yankees victory in 5 games. With such performances from Josh Hamilton the team MVP and Cliff Lee, their starting pitcher who pitched stellar in game 3 against the Yankees it seemed the tables had turned and the making of an upset was in the works. When Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) came to bat in the ninth inning of game 6 with the Texas Rangers 1 out from their historic victory it seemed fitting that A-Rod would make the last out since he was signed by Texas so many years ago to a $250 million contract that was still being paid out to him to this day. When A-Rod looked at strike 3 you could see the excitement and joy and special quality of this ball club and certainly find it in your heart to root for them to victory.
The Texas Rangers is what makes baseball so special and it reaffirms our beliefs that their still are miracles in the game of baseball and I am looking forward to hearing them play as this will be the first world series I will not be able to watch due to corporate greed on the part of Fox 5 and it's ownership in pulling the broadcasts from Cablevision. I am a fan of baseball but I am very disillusioned with the greed in the game and the destructive nature of these corporate executives who know how to ruin a special moment. I will certainly be rooting for the Texas Rangers even if I won't be able to watch them on my TV because of those who stole the 106th showing of the World Series from the fans.
Let's Go Texas!
Edward D. Iannielli III