By Bruce Stambaugh
There we were, my four friends and I, fortunate to be among the thousands in attendance at Game 1 of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.
I wish you could have seen us. I wish you all could have been there, too.
It was a dream World Series to be sure. The Cubs played the Indians in a battle between the two most title deficient teams in Major League Baseball. And we got to witness it. Well, mostly we did.
Joe and his son Jesse saw the game just fine from the mezzanine high in right field. Even though we had better seats than them, it was a different story for Kurt, Tim, and me. I was ever so grateful to be able to secure prime seats a dozen rows up from the Indians dugout. Don’t ask how. Just know I didn’t steal them.
Despite our excellent seats, much of the time we had trouble seeing what was happening on the field. Two guys three rows in front of us insisted on standing for most of the game.
I felt like I was at the old cavernous Municipal Stadium with obstructed view seats, looking around old steel girders trying to see. Instead, these two middle-aged men stood. It’s the World Series they said. You’re supposed to stand.
Several fans and Indians staff members tried numerous times to persuade these two men to sit down. Still, the men stood. One person even kindly pointed out to the two human pillars that most of the folks sitting behind them were older, and didn’t have the stamina to stand that long.
The men were unfazed. It’s the World Series they reiterated. Between innings, they even taunted the people immediately around them. My friends and I just looked at one another in bewilderment. Kurt thought these men needed a lot of attention, and I had to agree.
On the way up to the game, our vanload of Tribe testosterone relished this glorious opportunity. Avid baseball fans all, we each agreed that is was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As we neared the stadium, the excitement increased. Fans crowded the sidewalks. Between the Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers were getting their championship rings, and the Indians Progressive Field, thousands of revelers milled around on the Gateway Plaza. The excitement was electric.
The Indians gave its standing room only crowd much to cheer about, winning 6 – 0. My friends and I indeed had a marvelous time that neither us may have again. The misbehavior of the pair of baseball statues couldn’t deter our enjoyment.
In this childish behavior of two adult men, there was a universal lesson to be learned. Be considerate of others wherever you are. Apparently, these two bullies hadn’t yet taken that class.
I thought about how others had shown kindness to us in the crush of the crowd. Police officers, passengers on the commuter train, other drivers in snarled traffic, and the ushers at the game all were considerate to us in giving directions, assistance when needed, and simply being courteous.
In a way, I was sad for these two men who couldn’t see the negative consequences of their selfish actions. Still, far greater injustices exist all around us that deserve our utmost consideration and attention.
In our coming and going in everyday life, we each have multiple opportunities to be considerate and compassionate to others. Sometimes we just need to sit down to see them.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2016