Monday, October 31, 2011

Game 6: Dare to Dream

It was the greatest baseball game I have ever seen, and one of the most inspiring experiences I have ever had. I am referring to Game 6 of the World Series on October 27, when the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers 10-9.

What made this game so memorable? Further, why is it even worth a blog that is traditionally focused on communications?

Here’s why. This was a role-model game because of what it communicated: the importance of never giving up — and no matter how down and out you may be …and no matter how often — you can overcome a deficit if you have the will and the drive to win. Others have commented about this event: The team refused to die! It was surreal! The multiple comebacks were beyond belief!

What inspired me so? Here is the backdrop leading up to the now famous Game 6. The Cardinals were 10.5 games behind the wild card leader, Atlanta, with slightly over a month to go in the season. For those not familiar with baseball, that is huge. The Cardinals went on an amazing winning streak and then conquered both the Phillies, possibly the best team in baseball, and the Milwaukee Brewers in successive championship series after losing the first game of each. As Game 6 approached in the best of 7 classic, Texas had won three games and the Cardinals two.

Texas could have wrapped it up in Game 6. And Texas was within one strike of winning the series in two successive innings where, with two outs, if the batter had swung and struck out, the game would have ended and Texas would have been the new champions. This is the first time in World Series history that such had happened twice. But the Cardinals came through in each of those situations, producing tying or winning runs. FIVE times Texas jumped ahead of the Cardinals and FIVE times the Cardinals came from behind to tie or leap ahead. The last was a home run which broke the dam and led to the victory! The next day the Cardinals went on to take Game 7!

Was the five-time comeback a record? Who knows? But it was one of the best examples of what must be done to win when the tide has turned against you. It is hard to imagine the energy and belief in self that had to be mustered to sustain the drive that made the St. Louis Cardinals World Champions in 2011. This is a game that should be replayed in every class that is taught on the art of winning.

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