Yes, I know it’s not quite Labor Day yet, but the run for the baseball playoffs is heating up! Especially in the American League Central division. The Cleveland Indians, my team, are leading by a slim margin of 2 and 1/2 games! And tonight they turned one of the rarest plays–an around the horn triple play. It was a thing of beauty.
I adore baseball. My mother and her two sisters in Tennessee were Cincinnati Reds fans back in the days of Johnny Bench, Pistol Pete Rose and the Big Red Machine. There was no such thing as ESPN and when the games weren’t on TV we listened to them over the radio on warm summer nights out on the back porch with the crickets chirping and fireflies blinking.
Then I married an Indians fan and changed allegiance more from
attrition than from their excellent play. This was back in the eighties and quite frankly I watched them lose more than win. They were so bad, they made a fictional movie about them, Major League.
What got me hooked is that they showed up every day. They practiced hitting, running, catching, pitching…all as if they planned on winning. Coaches made decisions and players were traded or sent down to the minors in the hopes of the team having a winning season. Or at least not being on the bottom of the standings. Some people would say they were paid to do these things. That a salary is what prompted them. Maybe, but it didn’t make them play with passion and enthusiasm. They weren’t the super-paid men in pin-stripes. Many were making low-for-baseball-players salaries. They were the underdogs, my heroes. They plugged away for the love of the game.
Then things started to change. After a new stadium was built, and management made some changes the team started winning. They played to 455 consecutive
sell-out games at Jacobs Field. (A number the team retired in honor of their fans.)They made a run for the pennant. Omar Visquel was a thing of beauty on the field, almost a ballerina turning a double play! Jim Thome looked like a mountain of a man at the plate just before he knocked one out of the park. They played in two world series!! But didn’t win either one.
Then time passed, they restructured the team and had a few rebuilding years.
Now they’re in the race again, with guys like the gorgeous Grady Sizemore making flying and diving catches in centerfield. Designated hitter, Travis Hafner and catcher, Victor Martinez leading their offenses. Pitchers CC Sabathia, Fausto Carmona and Paul Byrd setting records and winning games.
That’s sort of what it’s like for me as a romance writer. I plugged away in the early years because of my love of the game, (writing). Then things started to click, I won a contest that actually paid me! OMG, the next thing must be publication. After a couple of tries without reaching that goal, I had to step back and restructure. Then I started finaling in contests with my newer works, get positive feedback even in my rejections. Now I’m making a run at the series again, (an agent or a publishing contract).
Will I make it? I hope so. I’m working like I mean to achieve those things. I have two GH pins to show for the efforts so far. I have to believe they’re signs!
Will my Indians make the World Series again? I hope so. They turned a TRIPLE PLAY tonight. Somehow I have to think it’s a sign!
So what heroes in your life or books keeps you rooting for them even when all seems lost?