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The Transformative Power of Identity

It was the seventh inning of Game Seven of the 2016 World Series. The Chicago Cubs were leading 6-3, and hoped bringing in the dominant relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman to get the final outs would seal the victory for the Cubs and break their longtime curse. An Indians double and a two-run home run later, and the game was tied. Cleveland had the momentum, and Cubbie faithful had the all too familiar “here-is-where-the-wheels-fall-off” and “the curse is still alive” despair.

Then providence intervened: the rain picked up, and the Progressive Field grounds crew rolled out the rain tarp onto the field, forcing players, managers, and fans alike to wait anxiously for the 10th inning of the tie game to continue.

Sensing deflated and even defeated spirits in the Cubs’ dugout, Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward called his team together to passionately exhort them to “remember who you are.” Heyward reminded the Cubs of their identity as the best regular season team in baseball. They were victors in two other rounds of the playoffs, and a team that came back from a three games to one deficit in the series to force a Game 7. It was their game to win as much as it was to lose.

Invigorated and inspired by a fresh dose of truth, the Cubbie bats rallied for two go-ahead runs in the top of the 10th. The Cubs could have accepted inevitable defeat, but instead charged ahead, fueled by the truth of who they were, and they won their first World Series in 108 years.


Kevin Halloran; “The Transformative Power of Identity: A World Series Lesson”; (11/4/16); Submitted by: Van Morris, Mt. Washington, Ky.

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