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We don’t want to jinx anything, so this editorial will absolutely not be about imagining the Chicago Cubs going to the World Series for a second time in as many years.

We would never do that.

It would be far too premature before the first pitch of the Cubs playoff series with the Washington Nationals Friday night — quite foolish, really — to dream that a possible repeat of last year is in the works.

No, that would bring immediate condemnation from the baseball gods, who would cite the curse of the billy goat, maybe the Bartman ball and then perhaps every heartbreaking season between 1908 and 2015 as reasons why one shouldn’t get too cocky.

That, despite the fact that the Cubs played really well the last month of the regular season and — to the dismay of the many Central Illinois Cardinals fans — pretty much prevented St. Louis from making the playoffs.  

So we will instead talk about why we’re so thankful baseball is still in our lives in October. You know, in general terms.

Because we are thankful.

The horrible shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, the threats from North Korea, the continuing crisis in Puerto Rico and continuing relief efforts in Texas and Florida, and the political attacks emanating from Washington underscore why we need a diversion.

Baseball is just a game, but it hints at something bigger — at togetherness, at commonality.

We need commonality more than ever.

Oh, sure, our region is divided between fans of both the Cardinals and the Cubs. That's obvious.

But many of us are fans of the same game, a game that so intensely points to childhood and nostalgia, of walking through those turnstiles with a parent, of smelling those smells, of seeing that glistening outfield grass so green it’s like a Kodachrome picture.

You can imagine it long after winter takes hold.

And time marches on. New seasons, new players.

Even Wrigley Field looks different. There are more advertisements, more screens to catch the eye. But it still carries the charm — the "L" tracks over Addison, the wind blowing in from the lake, the mandatory throwing back of the other team’s home run ball.

The energy.

We would never have the guts to suggest it’s the perfect place to see a World Series game in 2017.

That would be premature and foolish.

Wouldn’t it?


... to all the volunteers to have been giving blood this week in Central Illinois in response to the horrific mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.

As several donors told The Pantagraph, it is one way to help the victims if they cannot be there in person.

And, continued thanks to area volunteers still assisting victims of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. 

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