John Fogerty just began belting out “Centerfield” in my AirPods this morning. Well isn’t that the perfect song to be playing as we begin the month of October! Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!
With the baseball playoffs kicking off this week, I am reminded of my freshman year of college. It was the fall of 1986 and we were all sitting in one of those tiny dorm rooms, eyes glued to a 13-inch color TV watching the California Angels take on the Boston Red Sox in a fantastic Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. In all of our wisdom as 17 and 18-year old college Freshmen, we agreed to a man that there was simply nothing like playoff baseball and that as long as we lived, we would never miss a single one of these playoff games. Having no affiliation to either of these teams, not being from Boston or Los Angeles and tuning in to the game from the middle of Big Ten country, didn’t matter at all. No matter what teams were playing, for the rest of our days on earth, we would be watching. To this day, I have kept my promise to my fellow first-year students from that dorm room and I plan to be viewing those baseball games again this year. The baseball playoffs, like our great country, are truly awesome and must-see TV.
I had no idea at that tender age how impactful that the baseball playoffs could be and how much comfort and certainty that I would draw from them and the fact that they occur every single October without fail. Could any of us even imagine what October would be like without the World Series?
The baseball playoffs and naming the Championship Series the “World Series” is a uniquely American experience. These are special events that bind us together as Americans. We are so very blessed and fortunate to live in the United States of America.
And make no mistake, the rest of the world is watching. They will be watching the baseball playoffs and they are watching our country and our economy. The rest of the world is just as obsessed with our championships and our country and our economy as we are.
The world has never seen a country like our great nation. Our bizarre, unique blend of literally hundreds of different cultures and backgrounds. Our one-of-a-kind penchant for production and economic growth is simply unparalleled in human history. The breakneck speed at which we create and innovate is awe-inspiring to everyone. The way we recreate ourselves on a regular basis does not happen everywhere. Our obsessive, compulsive drive to succeed and produce more and more economic output almost defines who we are as Americans and as a country. Believe me, this obsessive drive has many negative side-effects and externalities. But it is also one of the best ways to explain why our economy has such resilience and strength.
Our economy is not immune from the problems of the world. However, at the same time, it would be darn foolish to not bet on the U.S. economy in the long run. Almost no one that I can think of would believe that the U.S. economy isn’t going to continue to lead the world for many decades and onward throughout the foreseeable future. While there are many reasons like this is likely to occur, one of them is that economic growth and output are simply in our nature. Baseball has for years been known as the national pastime, but one could make a cogent argument that economic production is our true national pastime. And it seems to keep on like clockwork. Being as productive as possible is a long-standing tradition in the United States – just like the baseball playoffs happening every October.
Here’s hoping for more great baseball memories this fall and for more economic production in our country.