At some point tonight, a third out in a ninth inning will be recorded somewhere and it will be official: Mike and I will have just watched our 2,000th game of the season.
When I think about it, I have a hard time quantifying just what that will mean. It means that we will be somewhere around 80 percent through the regular season. It means that I spent 1/30th of that time watching my Orioles put together another depressing season. And it means that Mike and I will have come that much closer to accomplishing the most unusual task ever undertaken in sports. I'm beginning to feel the pangs of apprehension that always arise whenever you begin to arrive at the end of a journey. The "What's next?" begins to creep in more and more, and I find that I'm wondering where in the world the time went everyday I come to the Cave.
When the numbers are flipped on the big board tonight before we leave, I'll give the scoreboard a final glance as I pass under it on my way home. It's something I've done countless other times after a full day of watching baseball. But it'll be somewhat different tonight. I'll walk out thinking about the fact that in just two short months, I'll be back home in Baltimore wishing I had savored every moment a little more. I'll be thinking about the day back in April or May when the "Games to Postseason" side of the scoreboard dipped below 2,000 for the first time and we thought to ourselves, "We've only just begun this project, and what a ways we have to go." That memory seems like it was ages ago, and yet in some ways, it seems like it was only a moment ago.
Watching 2,000 baseball games has been a remarkable ride. We've seen no-hitters, walk-off home runs, and games that went inning after inning seeming as though a winner would never be determined. What we've also seen is a majority of games that had none of that drama. We saw games that ended 4-2, or 5-1, or 4-3. In some ways, we've lived the same grind that the players live – coming to work everyday, and expecting only one thing for sure: baseball.
And we got it each and every time.
I'm very proud of what Mike and I have accomplished. I'm also anxious to see what else we can accomplish in the two months we have left. And if I've learned one thing this entire time it's this: I don't know what to expect when I come to work each morning. And I wouldn't have it any other way.