What a final day we had. The season couldn’t have ended on a better note. And for those of you couldn’t be around to see it, here’s what you missed:
Without even speaking about the games, this has to be my favourite moment of the season. A sea of purple, black, white/gold, traffic cone orange, and grey standing outside a mosque supporting one of our own. This scene alone shows how we’ve progressed as a league; we’re not a group of guys playing softball anymore. We’re a group of brothers who support one another on and off the field.
Now back to Nobleton… What a day this was. The Tigers came into the day having everyone think that one of the star players, Mahmood Kara, would land a helicopter from YYZ right into centre field and save the day. And while this didn’t happen, it didn’t look they needed him early. Filling in at the shortstop position, Abbasali Kermalli played a wonderful game vs. the Falcons, who struggled heavily on the mound in a Champsi on Champsi battle. Pitcher Altaf Champsi was on a complete tear, especially against the short-handed Bucks, dishing out strikes in his sleep. He finished that specific game with 64 pitches, 47 of them being strikes.
The 10AM game between the Wolves and Lions had major ramifications for the entire day, and while the general public were almost ignorant to that fact, both sides knew this was the championship game. The Lions came out smoking hot, putting up a decent lead on the Wolves, but captain Imran Virji (who was apparently at the cages just 20 minutes after this game) didn’t let his team panic. Like a prized fighter, they kept landing punches and just outlasted their opponent after seven rounds.
Dropping into the loser’s bracket had captain Miqdad Jaffer in a frenzy, and him and his team took vengeance out on the Tigers. OF Kaunain Taki served the Tigers squad with not one, but TWO, inside the park home runs, making him an early favourite for Playoff MVP (the umpire actually wanted us to give it to him regardless).
All this led them back to the Wolves, who were sitting around the diamond like they were Thanos. And just like that the fight scene began. The Lions came out with the same energy they did in the first game, except this time, the Wolves were dormant. It took all but 4 innings for this one to get out of hand, leaving the crowd at a loss for words when the umpire called the game due to a mercy. I had people calling/texting me (while I was scoring, mind you) trying to figure out what in the world happened to the Wolves. In complete sync with my comic-book reference, the Lions were heard saying ‘That’s how we avenge that game!’
That brought us all down to one game. Winner take all. Miqdad vs. Minhal. Shane vs. Abbas. Farhan vs. Mikael. What happened next was one of the most heart-stopping games we’ve seen. The Wolves looked like they were going to put the nail in the coffin early, until an amazing play took a turn for the worst. Imran Virji made a diving grab (who’s surprised?) and seemed to pop his shoulder as he landed. You could feel the Wolves’ mood drop in a heartbeat and the Lions took full advantage of it.
Bottom 7th. The score is 12-10. Lions had one more shot (they probably shouldn’t have had homefield throughout, but I digress). Up to bat? Kaunain Taki. Imran Nasser. Miqdad Jaffer. I can’t begin to tell you the angst we felt on the sideline thinking that of ALL people, Miqdad would be the game-winning run and on his birthday of all days… Kaunain singles. Imran singles. Miqdad pops out. Abbas Allidina brings in a run. And you felt it was over. A fielder’s choice brought up Moe Abdalla with the season on the line. And with a crack of a bat and the ball hitting the CF’s glove, it was over. The Wolves were the champs.
And in the end, after the long long day, there was a calm.
Things felt easy… Almost as easy as A-B-C.