“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”
-Bart Giamatti, The Green Fields of the Mind, Nov. 1977
October 13, 2012, Washington, DC: There was heartbreak in the end, yes, but before that there were red fireworks and dance parties and 45,000 people singing “Take On Me” at the top of their lungs. There were the improbable $23 standing room tickets we found last-minute for Thursday’s game, and Ian Desmond’s catch in the top of the ninth, and Jayson Werth’s walk-off homerun at the bottom of the inning. There were throngs of Washingtonians packed into the Fairgrounds after Game 4 who preferred to savor the postseason rather than watch an election season debate.
No need to dwell on what happened next. The silence that followed the noise was hard to miss. What’s important is that Washington, DC became a baseball town. It will remain that way come April.
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