It takes a lot for casual baseball fans to care about the sport this time of year.
You’ve got pro football, college football and high school football starting. The U.S. Open just ended (you may have read something about that in this space), school is getting going again so parents are busy, and the baseball playoffs are still a month away, which for the casual baseball fan leaves plenty of time to do other stuff before baseball gets “serious.”
But this Cleveland Indians thing… man. I’ve found myself totally caught up in it the last few days. If you’re not aware, one of the most historically awful teams in the sport, the franchise that now has the longest current World Series title drought (a drought that was extended when they lost in extra innings of Game 7 of last year’s World Series, oh by the way), won its 22nd consecutive game Thursday night.
That’s a record in the American League, maybe a MLB record (there’s dispute), and it’s pretty incredible. Baseball stats don’t mean much to me, but check this out:
— Until Thursday night, when the Tribe were actually behind for a bit, they’d only trailed for four innings during the first 21 games of the streak.
— They’ve hit more home runs (41) than their opponents had scored runs.
— This is the longest baseball winning streak in 100 years. One hundred years!
But what really gets me about this streak is this: Look at the crowd, and the players, in the above video. They’re partying and celebrating like they’ve won the World Series. That kind of unbridled joy is rare in any kind of regular-season event, in any sport, and it’s made me smile the last few nights, seeing long-suffering Indians fans celebrate.
I know this incredible streak will be a footnote if the Indians don’t go on to win the World Series. But sometimes it’s good to go a little overboard with your joy, you know?
Plus, as we know, the Indians went on a similar tear in the 1980s, with players like Willie “Mays” Hayes and Jake Taylor. Oh wait, wasn’t that…
**Next up today, we’re staying in the great state of Ohio for a story that warms my inner high school English nerd deep inside me. I had no idea this existed, but thanks to the consistently awesome NPR show “Only a Game,” I do now.
At Gahanna Middle School East outside of Columbus, teacher/coach Jessica Anderson presides over a team dynasty.
No, she doesn’t coach the basketball, soccer or tennis teams. She coaches a team in a “sport” I didn’t even know existed, but am thrilled that it does: Competitive creative writing. The competition is called Power of the Pen, and according to this story it works like this: Competitors are given a prompt and 40 minutes to write a short story. By pen.
Gahanna’s team has won district, regional and state titles, and this story goes inside the team with two of it’s stars, Madi and Jenna.
Of course an obvious question emerges: Is this a “cool” team at the school?
“Not exactly,” Jenna says. “Some people kind of judge, but I don’t really care what people think about me, so, I just like to write.”
I think these kids are awesome. I totally would’ve been in this “sport” when I was younger. So glad that it exists.
**And finally today, let’s head out to the weekend on a dog video. Because who doesn’t love a good dog video (well, cats probably don’t, but my metrics tell me they hardly ever read my blog.)?
Check out this video from Worldwide Weird News’ Twitter feed, of one pooch helping another during the Hurricane Irma floods in Florida.
Man’s best friend, sure. But also doggie’s best friend.