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Sara’s Diary: Day 16 without baseball

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Appreciating the classics

Kerry Wood pitching
Getty Images

The last three days in Chicago have been shrouded in gray with various degrees of fog giving way to rain. In many ways it’s a perfect metaphor for pandemic life — day after day trying to manage everyday life in a world with limited options and color as you brace for the day’s news, which is sometimes a drizzle and sometimes a deluge.

Last night the thunderstorm that broke up the gray was ferocious and woke me up. I sat up for about an hour watching the storm rage. Storms have a bit of a classic beauty about them, particularly lightning storms. I used to love sitting at my window and watching them, and last night’s did not disappoint.

In fact, it was probably the best thing I watched yesterday. Longtime readers know I’m a bit of an information junkie. I like stats, figures, and knowledge. It brings me comfort in uncertain times, however in the last week the news doesn’t feel informative, it just feels like an onslaught. The number of cases of COVID-19 keeps going up, the deaths from COVID-19 keep going up, the situation that is already dire in New York City is threatening to spread to other cities in the United States, with Chicago being being a noted potential hotspot. I check these charts daily and they really speak for themselves.

I’ve needed to make an effort to take breaks from the news and information overload as I begin week three of tele-work and social distancing. I find myself drawn to the classics to take my mind off of pandemic life. I’ve made an effort to play my keyboard more, which has always been a source of relaxation for me. I’m still trying to perfect my grandmother’s tortillas, and while I know I will never match the real thing, I am getting closer. And then there was today’s re-airing of Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game.

I’ve obviously seen the highlights of this classic dozens of times. It’s one of the Wrigley Field go-to montages during long rain delays. MLB Network has an outstanding documentary about this game. But I’ve never seen the whole game from start to finish. I definitely never saw this game with a BCB game thread.

I’m not generally one to watch old games from start to finish. Yes, I know most of these are available on YouTube. Somehow just being able to pull it up whenever and watch it on my small computer screen didn’t have the same appeal has having it on my TV. It certainly didn’t have the appeal of watching it with a few of my favorite Cubs fans on BCB.

Watching these old classic games during the pandemic has been a much needed break in the storm. For starters, there are so many moments and details I’d forgotten. Like, let’s be honest, Al is probably the only person who remembers that Kerry Wood balked in the third inning of the greatest game KW ever pitched. It’s incredible to see players like Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell who I haven’t thought about in years playing in their prime. And while I know it wasn’t Marquee Sports Network’s A-plan to unlock the vault as the network launched, it’s still been a lot of fun to see other gems like the Ryne Sandberg Game, or Mark Grace doing damage on Opening Day.

We have no idea how long sports will be paused as society hunkers down to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, but sharing these classic games on BCB and Twitter still provides a much needed break from the madness.