When Kolten Wong stepped to the plate Sunday night, some Cardinal fans had lost hope in the game and in the chances of winning a World Series. Not me.
With Game Two on the line, I repeated what I did when David Freese hit a game-winning bomb in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series and what I did when the Cardinals rallied for four runs in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS. I took my shirt off. Yes, I removed my tomato-red Cardinals gear from the top half of my body, exposing my chiseled (read: pale/unflattering) chest.
The baseball gods did not disappoint. In the ensuing pitch, Wong launched a solo shot to right field, winning the game.
Some call it magic. Others call it coincidence. I call it faith.
You see, I don’t really believe fans can alter the games with “lucky” socks or switching seats. That makes no logical sense. But what does make a difference is when a person or group of people unite in belief. Just like in the movie “Elf,” if we all believe, it will happen.
Faith, by definition, is an act of irrationality. Many of my rational friends who are Cardinals fans do not have faith in this team winning the World Series and often do not have faith even in their own lives. “It’s better to just be prepared for the Cardinals losing it all,” they say. “That way, it will be easier to move on.” Sound familiar?
Better question: Move on to what? Your average, pessimistic life? No, I refuse to live that way. In a world of faith, life is suddenly exciting and wonderful. And even if the Cardinals win the World Series, I still have faith that something good will come to those who believe.
So, yes, this October my shirt will be off for my team. I will be “Shirtless in St. Louis.” You may think I’m stupid or crazy but I’m just here to have fun and spread love for the cause.
Clear eyes, shirts off, can’t lose.