Listening to the World Series this weekend, I heard one of the announcers say that in terms of sheer emotion, it could only compare with the 2001 Fall Classic—and that, of course, was, as much as anything, a primal scream, from a New York painfully wounded, for the Yankees to win just one more game, somehow, as if to blunt the still-searing pain of 9/11.
The New York Mets’ improbable push for the World Series championship this year had a different emotional dynamic, of course—the desire to attain a title not achieved since 1986. But I wanted to capture the moment, and the bold, brassy exterior of the Tonic Bar in Times Square offered that opportunity, in the form of this photo, this past Saturday.
At first, what came to mind about the ending of this series and this season was the famous essay “The Green Fields of the Mind,” by the late baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti:
“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. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”
But as I read on, another, less well-known—but perhaps more appropriate—thought from that same meditation summed up how I, as a Yankee fan, felt 14 years ago, and how —God bless ‘em!—hundreds of thousands of Mets fans have felt over the last 24 hours, watching two games slip away in extra innings: “how slight and fragile are the circumstances that exalt one group of human beings over another.”
See you in the spring, when the “sunshine and high skies” come alive again.