Baseball’s postseason is becoming known for delivering with exciting finishes, close series and creating household names out of feel-good stories. There has been no shortage of that this year.
As a Phillies fan, I’ve had to look no further than former Phillies players.
Raul Ibanez is now with the New York Yankees. In the past three weeks, he’s hit three game-tying home runs and one walk-off home run.
In Game 3 of the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles, Ibanez entered the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning, tied it with a home run, then came up in the 12th and won it with a home run. No player in baseball history, ever, has done that.
The San Francisco Giants were down 2-0 in the NLDS to the Cincinnati Reds. This July, the Phillies traded Hunter Pence to the Giants.
Before Game 3, there was Pence surrounded by his teammates, yelling out an inspiration speech. It worked wonders for the Giants, who swept the remaining games of the series to advance to the NLCS and are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals three wins away from advancing to the World Series.
Even though they didn’t advance, the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics put on a show this September and October. They both took their ALDS series to a deciding Game 5. Both just happened to run into two of the best pitchers in baseball.
To get to that decisive Game 5, the Orioles needed an extra-inning win in Game 4 and the A’s needed a miracle ninth-inning comeback. That just added to the October drama that excites any baseball fan.
Finally, in the last division-series game of the 2012 Postseason, the defending-champion Cardinals found themselves a strike away from elimination three times. Again. They scored four two-out runs to steal away another game and advance to the NLCS. Again.
Once again, baseball is writing chapters of history with stories you have to see to believe. It is why I watch baseball. It is why baseball continues to deliver as the national pastime.