Congratulations Dodger fans, you’re back in the World Series.
I can’t imagine how long and painful this wait has been for you. After all, the last time you made it to the World Series was ... (checks notes) 2018.
OK, maybe it hasn’t been that long since you’ve been, but it’s been decades since you’ve won.
I wasn’t alive in 1988 and I definitely wasn’t alive in 1948 — the last time my Cleveland Indians won the championship — but I can imagine the streets of L.A. were a buzz the year the Dodgers won their last championship. Winning a title is exciting in any sport, but baseball's nature and long seasons makes winning a title even tougher and more satisfying.
And losing one even more gut-wrenching.
The Dodgers have lost two of the last three World Series. That means the players have had to watch the confetti fall for someone else, watch the champagne bottles pass their locker rooms and watch another team bask in the glory of being a champion.
Now that’s a pain I can imagine.
Think about a time in your life where you failed to accomplish your goal. How did you feel? Did you feel like your time was wasted? Did you wish you had never had that goal to begin with?
Or did you feel motivated to keep trying?
When I was in high school, the only school I wanted to go to was Ohio University. I knew I wanted to write about sports and the school that produced Peter King seemed like a great fit. After I saw the campus, my mind was made up. It was OU or bust.
But I can’t lie, I didn’t deserve to go to Ohio, and they told me that, with a rejection letter. Needless to say, I was devastated.
At that point, I could’ve quit on my dream. I had other schools I could go to but none had the pedigree of OU. I had to decide if my dream was worth working for. Instead of enrolling at another school, I took classes at Ohio University - Pickerington campus.
During my time on the branch campus, I was miserable. I was unhappy and jealous of my friends that had a real college experience. Instead of dorm life, I lived at home. Instead of partying, I worked part-time at Dairy Queen.
But I never gave up on my goal.
I studied hard, improved my grades and even wrote articles for free to prove I belonged at OU, and after one semester at Pickerington, they agreed. Years later, I’m living my dream as a reporter and primed to graduate in a few months from my dream school.
But the reason I tell that story is because sometimes in life we fail on the first, second or third try. And sometimes we ask ourselves “is it even worth it?” Why would you willingly put yourself through so much pain for some reward you might not ever achieve?
I don’t know. Ask a Dodger fan.
Because for the last four years its been their year. The Dodgers could beat Tampa Bay and win the title, but guess what? Even if they lose, next year will still be the Dodgers’ year.
Failure doesn’t come from losing. Everybody loses. Failure comes from giving up, from not having the goal to reach for and strive for everyday. We don’t always win the title in the end, but sometimes we win the pennant or our division. But if you quit, you’re not even playing the game.
So good luck to the Dodgers in this series. Those players have invested so much the last four years and a title would be the ultimate reward for that hard work. However, if the Rays do win and the Dodgers again have to watch that confetti fall, all is not lost. The dream is not dead. The effort was not worthless.
Because there’s always next year.