To the Indians Players….
I know you’ve heard or read it. There’s only one winner in a sports contest. The other team is the loser. Nothing could be further from the truth.
THE most popular sports movie, Rocky in 1976, follows the story of a neighborhood guy in Philly, who gets a dream shot at the heavyweight title. The film builds to the fight climax….except Rocky loses the fight by split decision. But REAL fans left the theater thinking Rocky won. And, in a way, he did.
Winning self respect in a world of doubters can be the ultimate victory. Nobody expected you to be IN the World Series, let alone win it. You had injuries to key players, a skeptical press, and fans who sold their series tickets to Cubs fans in order to make a few bucks. You fought like dogs, while your home field 1st and third base lines were crammed with the wrong fans. You heard every cheer when they scored, but you fought back time and time again.
And after the final pitch was thrown, you earned the respect of yourselves and the guys in the clubhouse around you. You will carry that self respect with you the rest of your lives, and it will make you stronger as your lives move forward.
You will read the social media. Ignore it. You elevated yourselves this season, and, like Rocky, battled the full 15 rounds. You landed big blows, and took them. You know that every Cubs player and fan respects the way you never quit. And please know that there ARE fans in NE Ohio that consider you winners after you fought your way back from what seemed like an impossible deficit.
Thank you from the people who still value heart and effort. Cherish your new friendships and carry them with you wherever you go. Well done.