Journalism isn’t supposed to capture emotion. It’s supposed to relate the facts and let the reader decide what the emotional response should be. While this may be questionable assertion these days, the definite exception to this is sports writing, and this Joe Posnanski summation of Game Two of the 2017 World Series may be one of the finest examples I’ve read. I was watching that game, and reading this brought it all back.
It’s also a fine example of structure and narrative, interspersing the chronological action with the details of the final at-bat of the game. And, as he says, it was that kind of game–one in which anything could happen, and already had, multiple times.
Here’s a sample:
The tension was impossible. In the bottom of the 11th, the Dodgers surely seemed out of miracles. Two of their best hitters — Corey Seager and Justin Turner — lined out against Devenski. With two outs, light-hitting utility infielder Charlie Culberson stepped up. There wasn’t much to dream about in this situation. Culberson had hit one big league home run in the past three years. (It was a walk-off home run that clinched the division and was simultaneously Vin Scully’s final call at Dodger Stadium, so we can’t say Culberson isn’t capable of some magic.)
That’s fine writing. You can almost hear the musical soundtrack. It’s straight-to-the-big-screen storytelling.
And it was that kind of game.