After loss of son, a sportswriter finds baseball helps heal

After the pre-term death of their son the Castrovince family poured its heart into their daughter and a baseball team.

Much has been written during and since the World Series about baseball’s victories and their connection to people who are now gone — usually old-timers… grandfathers, fathers etc.

But only Anthony Castrovince, a writer for MLB.com, has written about a different twist. Baseball’s connection to a child who was never born.

His died in August at mid-term. And baseball, specifically the team that lost the World Series, helped him survive, he writes today.

So, yeah, I wanted badly for the Indians to win it all. Sue me. And as their incredible postseason ride played out, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking, against my better judgment, that James was pulling some strings for his parents.

I remember going to Progressive Field the day after we delivered James, fighting back tears just before an MLB Network hit as I thought about the games we wouldn’t attend, the moments we wouldn’t have, all that father-son stuff. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind he would have been a baseball fan, a Tribe fan, and so, sure, it was only natural for that Catholic kid inside of me to feel his fandom impacting the outcomes.

This is the surge of feelings that ran through me when Davis connected on that improbable blast off an unhittable lefty fireballer. I felt chills, I choked up and I said, “Wow, James.”

And I guess that’s going to have to be enough, because the Indians, as you might have heard or saw, went on to lose that epic ballgame. They are not the World Series champs but, instead, a punch line for the snarks and the cynics who will hammer them for blowing a 3-1 lead. It’s unavoidable, but also unfair, because this team meant something to me, to my wife and to so many others who loved the fight they showed against a team that was just deeper and better. And while it’s ultimately silly to use sports to help heal a heart, that’s what was happening here, which only makes the outcome all the more confusing and difficult to process. But as my sweetheart of a wife said to me just now, “There’s a Cubs fan somewhere who really needed that win.” Thousands of them, I’m sure.

“I never got to take my son to a World Series game,” he writes. “But I feel like he just took me to seven of them.”