Timeout with Talia: World Series
Issue   |   Tue, 11/01/2016 - 22:34

If I’m being honest, I’m not the world’s biggest baseball fan. I would put myself under the category of people who like the fun family atmosphere of the MLB games more than the actual sport itself. That being said, I would put myself a little higher up than the people who go to the games for the food.

To make the games more interesting to watch, however, I like picking specific games or specific players to follow. Because I’m not a true fan of either of the teams in the World Series, I’m not following either game as closely as I’m sure many hometown fans are. So, I’ve decided to focus on a specific player who is creating buzz throughout the MLB fan base — the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber.

Schwarber is 23 years old and began his MLB career just last year. Hailing from Middletown, Ohio and playing college ball at Indiana University, Schwarber was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2014 and had successful minor league seasons on several of the Cubs’ minor league teams.

In 2015, Schwarber was finally promoted to the big leagues. On June 16, he was assigned as a designated hitter for six games of interleague play. Right away, he showed his skills as a position player, jumping in for an ejected Cubs catcher in the eighth inning of his first game. The very next day, Schwarber got four hits in five at bats including two RBIs and three runs scored.
Kyle Schwarber’s first season continued in a similar fashion. He finished the 2015 regular season with a .246 batting average, 16 home runs, 52 runs scored and 43 RBIs.

Schwarber played even better during the postseason. In the NLDS, Schwarber hit two key homers including one that landed on top of the Wrigley field scoreboard where it was later placed in Plexiglas as a memento. The future could not look much brighter for the young Schwarber. He was poised for a stellar 2016 season.

In the first game of the season, however, Schwarber had four at bats and no hits. His second game didn’t go much better. In the middle of the game, when chasing down a fly ball, he had a full on collision with teammate Dexter Fowler in the outfield. Schwarber ended up with a torn ACL and LCL and had to undergo surgery.

With an injury as serious as his, doctors were hopeful that Schwarber would return in the follwing spring. He had a positive outlook, however, saying about the injury, “You can’t get mad about playing hard and getting hurt, I’d rather play hard and get hurt, than play not hard and get hurt.” Miraculously, Schwarber was back just in time for the start of the World Series.
Schwarber started game one of the 2016 World Series vs. the Indians as the Cubs’ designated hitter. In that game, Schwarber rocketed a crazy double off the right-field wall, a hit that was very close to being a homer. With that hit, he became the first player in major league history to get his first hit of the season during the World Series. Now this is the kind of feel good story that baseball and non-baseball fans alike can enjoy.

As of now, Schwarber has been playing like he was never hurt. He’s tallied two RBIs in the post season and has a .500 on base percentage. Unfortunately for Schwarber, the Cubs are currently down in the series against the Indians 3-2 after suffering a blowout in the first game and another pretty big defeat (7-2) on Oct. 29. Yet regardless of the scores of the games, what stood out to me about the Schwarber story was the idea of mental strength.

Well, Schwarber, it looks like you beat all the odds. Whether it’s mental toughness or some sort of superhuman strength, it sure is fun to watch.