What gave the Red Sox the edge?

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What gave the Red Sox the edge over the Cardinals?

Was it the legacy of Moneyball?

Was it the Bonding Beards? And the team unity management created by building a team of players who General Manager Ben Cherington said “wanted to be here”, players who saw playing in Boston as an opportunity not a burden?

Was it Boston Strong? And the intensified connection between the team and the town after the bombing in April?

Sports fans have seen things like this before, when a team or player is playing for something bigger than itself, a town, a cause, or in honor of someone special to them. Is this mystical? Is this the power of prayer? Is there a psychological edge to thinking “this is our time”?

Reminds me of Crenshaw in 1995: During his final illness, [Harvey Penick] gave lessons from his deathbed to longtime student Ben Crenshaw. The day after serving as a pallbearer at Penick’s funeral, Crenshaw began play in the 1995 Masters Tournament. With the memory and spirit of his longtime friend and mentor to guide him, he became the second oldest Masters champion, winning his second Masters at the age of 43. In the post-tournament interview, Crenshaw said: “I had a 15th club in my bag,” a reference to Penick. (The “15th club” reference is based on the golf rule that limits a player to carrying 14 clubs during a round.)

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I’m curious what people have experienced similar to this in their own sporting careers, or in their lives.

 

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  • M. B

    I remember being part of my club’s field hockey team, touring around Australia and New Zealand (heavyweights in field hockey). We were half their size, playing against many organized leagues, and playing in fields full of local supporters, with everyone cheering against us. We “dramatically” won every game, made it to the front page of a few newspapers, and went against all odds. We made a promise we were going so far to win, for the team, for the club, for our country, and especially for our families who had invested so much to send us there.
    This article reminded me of another I read here, talking about the collective belief in team sports. It is a similar experience from the U.S Water Polo team before winning gold in the Olympic games.