It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small.
Yes, that’s the opening lyric from “Let it Go,” which yes is from “Frozen,” which yes has been playing in heavy rotation at our house as our five person kingdom of isolation (three of them ages 5, 3 and 3 months) navigates the challenges and joys of working, learning and playing while staying home.
But let’s apply it to sports for a moment — and particularly to Game 163 of the 2009 MLB season between the Twins and Tigers, the replay of which starts at 10:15 a.m. Thursday on Twitter and on the Twins web site.
A day after that game — still the best professional game I’ve ever helped cover — I could have told you everything about it. A little over 10 years later? I was surprised to re-learn some of the very basic details from the deadline story I wrote and just re-read.
The Tigers took a 3-0 lead? The Tigers also led 5-4 in the 10th before the Twins tied it thanks to a misplay? News to me.
I only remember two things about that game, really, because distance has made everything else seem small: 1) Carlos Gomez scoring the winning run on an Alexi Casilla single in the bottom of the 12th. 2) Brandon Inge being grazed by a pitch with the bases loaded in the top of that inning, but having it go uncalled (excellent Brian Peterson photo above). The Tigers did not score.
The second piece was the main subject of the story I wrote. I still very much remember talking to Inge in the dingy visitors clubhosue at the Metrodome, in what was the second-to-last Twins game in that building. He was polite, earnest, immensely disappointed and full of truth. He called it “the greatest game I’ve ever played in,” but he couldn’t stop replaying all the what-if moments.
“No matter what we did, it seemed like it wasn’t meant to be,” Inge said that night.
It’s a good reminder that for every story of immense sports joy, there’s an equal reaction of heartbreak. Minnesota fans know the pain side of the equation all too well.
But if you want to remember that joy — and maybe rediscover some things you forgot — I urge you to watch the replay of Game 163.