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