I thought I’d never admit this. Seriously. I didn’t want anyone to know. I was fully prepared to go to my grave with nary a soul finding out the truth behind one of the greatest moments in human history. But I need to get it out in the open, and let the healing begin.
I missed the final out of the 2016 World Series. You know, the one the Chicago Cubs won.
I missed Kris Bryant’s smiling, slipping throw to first. I missed Anthony Rizzo tucking the ball into his back pocket. I missed Ben Zobrist skipping in from left field like a child who just found a shiny nickle. I missed Addison Russell and Javy Baez meet in midair like a couple of Cirque du Soleil acrobats.
I missed it all.
There was a pitching change. Carl Edwards, Jr. was coming off the mound. Mike Montgomery was coming in to pitch. I needed to use the restroom. So I did what you do when you have to go: I went. I thought I had time while Montgomery warmed up.
I did not.
I was away from every television Moe’s Cantina had to offer. And the sound I dreaded, happened. First, a nervous cheer, then a quick crescendo into pandemonium. And I knew the crowd wasn’t cheering for a commercial. I ran to the sink, did a less-than-thorough washing of the hands, and ran out into the restaurant in the hopes I hadn’t really missed the culmination of 46 years of Cubs fandom.
No such luck. I had missed it. And you know what? It bothers me. A lot. I feel shame.
Sure, we still got to celebrate, once I found Jen and assured her I hadn’t spontaneously combusted in the heat of the moment. And I got to watch, half-crying, half-laughing, as the Cubs players celebrated on the field. But I missed The Last Out. And I’ve still not quite forgiven myself.