And so the championship games wrap up another season of High Park baseball.

What an extraordinary season. Split-squad practices, batters wearing masks and a season opener on July 20; 486 days after the last official game.

If you’re new to High Park Little League, maybe you don’t know the magic of baseball in the spring that we missed, with baby robins hopping around the park, cherry blossoms on trees and the optimism that comes with the season.

The optimism. You know we all missed the optimism.

Baseball brought so much of it back. All that joy, and running, and friends. Even if we did have to wear a mask.

We would be at sea without the Mariners in the finals. Their win over the Angels had divine intervention written all over it. If you missed this game, you missed a lot.

Skip forward a few months, as the T-Ball Mariners, minors Monarchs and majors Cubs put a bow on a successful season.

It wasn’t just a win for those kids and their cheering families. It was a huge win for everyone who put in so many hours, days and months of effort for a season that some thought might not even happen at all.

But we got to play baseball. In the middle of the worst pandemic in a century swirling all around us, we got to play baseball.

All by itself, that’s something to celebrate. Brad Pitt said it best in Moneyball, “how can you not be romantic about baseball?”

Congratulations, to the Mariners, Monarchs and Cubs. You guys sure showed us all how it’s done. But don’t lose track of the Angels, Cannons and Orioles. Those kids can play, and expect them to make some noise next season.

Minors division Monarchs defeated the Cannons in a tight final game.
Majors division Cubs (and senior club to the Monarchs) took down the red-hot Orioles and their orange jacket (keep an eye on Instagram for more on that later!)

Check them out on our social channels all week long. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will have photos of the championships and the best of our upside down season. And follow us there all year long for news and information about player evaluations, rep workouts and tryouts, and other important dates.

But most of all, thank you to all the players, parents, coaches and legion of volunteers who make this league run. If you want to see how much, come out to the park on field work days. The pitchers mound and batters boxes don’t fix themselves. Or take a look at the home office floors of board members when they’re working on version 46 of the schedule.

For all of you, come on out of the dugout and tip your cap for your curtain call. You deserve every second of it.