Let's Play Two: the Singular Beauty of the Doubleheader

Let's Play Two: the Singular Beauty of the Doubleheader

If you were to attach a particular saying to Cubs' great Ernie Banks, it would certainly be "let's play two" – meaning, play back-to-back ballgames in a single day. The ever-smiling, affable Banks understood how lucky major leaguers are to play a child's game for a living. Why play one game when you could play two? 

The doubleheader is unique to baseball; it would not be possible with any other sport. Hockey, basketball, and football are too taxing on the body to accommodate such a schedule. Baseball's more meandering pace allows for six-plus hours of it to be played in a single day. In fairness, doubleheaders are no longer a preplanned event – they were once commonplace, but now are usually the result of poor weather (when a game is rained out it's easy to bump it over to the following day before a night start). Still, they happen a handful of times in a season and are a long haul for those involved. 

Nothing helps a team grab some momentum during the regular season like taking two games in a single day. The Blue Jays did it this season against the Royals, winning the first 11-3 and then 5-4 in extras. Having your record skip forward two happy steps is like gaining an extra day while travelling; it's as if you have one up on everybody else.

Losing both games of a doubleheader results in utter dejection. Kick a man while he's down, why don't you. It feels much worse to lose two in one day than it does two in two, despite it being, in reality, the same thing numbers-wise. Go on to lose the next day and get swept? There is no pill more bitter to swallow – just ask the Royals.

No matter your particular allegiances as a fan – and therefore possible sorrows for being on the losing end – it's important to cherish the doubleheader when it happens. They are, as previously mentioned, more of a rarity these days. The doubleheader is a throwback to an earlier time, a time when Mr. Cub gleefully roamed the infield. Sadly, Ernie is no longer with us, but his memory comes calling back every time two games are played in a single day.

The hot summer sun coming down on the Wrigley Field bleachers. Cold beer and ice cream. You buy one ticket and spend a full day at the park, nowhere else to be and nothing to worry about except getting a W. Yep, let's play two. 

 

 

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