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Underdog stories are my favorite. Many of the best lessons in my life have come from winning and losing in athletics. There is something inspiring about rooting for a team that finally has their chance at greatness after going through a long drought.

Watching the Major League Baseball World Series felt that way this year. The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros battled it out through six games to determine who was the best team in baseball this year. The Atlanta Braves winning the series after going through a 25-year drought showed fans what a little determination and a lot of faith can do.

The World Series has been the pinnacle of baseball since 1903. Each year baseball fans root for their team all season, hoping it might be their year. Through wild card games, playoffs and American and National league championships spectators tune in, even if their team didn’t make the cut.

Certain cities really love baseball. St. Louis, New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco love baseball and are passionate about their teams. Something all of those places, teams and fans have in common is they have won a World Series. They have bonded over that unifying experience and can hold on to that feeling until they get the opportunity to cheer their team on the next time they make it.

There are teams in baseball that have never won a World Series. The Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres have never won a World Series. Having been to home games to watch the Colorado Rockies in Denver and Texas Rangers in Arlington, I can say it is not due to unpassionate fans or bad stadium atmospheres. With some faith, luck and support from management those teams will get their opportunity.

The World Series shows us more than a major sporting event. MLB teams play 162 games over a six-month period in an attempt to make it to the World Series. That is a lot of games and a lot of dedication. During that time those teams go through highs and lows, and fans who gain and lose interest or faith in their teams during that six month stretch.

As a community, we can strive to be like a professional baseball team. We can support each other through the highs and lows of daily happenings. We can be committed to all citizens in our community. We can be unabashed fans of those organizations and groups that work day in and day out to ensure Sheridan is a great place to live. We can all have faith in the fact that we are capable of overcoming any obstacle, and we can do it in a way that unites all of us in the community instead of dividing us.

Learning how to work as a team, be a good friend and respect opposing teams, win or lose, are all lessons that should be taken away from athletics. The World Series is a great example of that.

Seth Ulvestad is Sheridan Recreation District executive director. 

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