Cardinal flying away

Luke Holthouse

I never got to write a column about the St. Louis Cardinals and their run to the 2011 World Series last year. Our Editor-in-Chief, Judd Liebman ’12, told me it had no place in the Chronicle because it was only relevant to my life and not to the school. But I get a little leeway for self-indulgence in my farewell piece, and I’ll try to incorporate some meaningful analysis of my high school experience.

If you want to know how I survived Harvard-Westlake, I must thank the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. I should also thank my family, my teachers, my classmates and everyone else that has been a part of my life the last six years, but this column will be more entertaining and less generic if I talk about baseball and save all the personal notes for yearbooks.

The playoff run that year could not have been better. Down and out late in the year, my Redbirds made a vicious late-season ascent in the standings, snuck into playoffs on the last day of a 162-game season, upset the goliath Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of playoffs, defeated the rival Milwaukee Brewers in the second round (sorry Bradley Schlesinger ’13), then magically rallied through extra innings of Game 6 before claiming the World Series title in Game 7 against the Texas Rangers.

I woke up every morning of that playoff run with a smile, anxious about the day’s game and excited to see what the scouting report had to say. My focus during off hours was sharper than Chris Carpenter’s curveball as I forced myself to keep four hours of my schedule open almost every day of October so I could watch the night’s game.

And when the Cardinals popped the final bottle of champagne, a mix of genuine sadness that the greatest experience of my fandom had just ended was washed away by the pride I felt as part of Cardinal Nation, the admiration I had for the new legends like David Freese or old heroes like Albert Pujols and the happiness that I felt after witnessing the perfect playoff run. I forfeited my right to complain about anything for the rest of the year.

When I was frustrated about an AP Biology lab due the next day, a cruel Chronicle deadline in the weeks ahead or the difficulty of managing lacrosse practice time with homework, I reminded myself that at least the Cardinals won the World Series and that I should appreciate all the good stuff I had going on in my life. I wish I had something more insightful to say at the end of this column about my experience at Harvard-Westlake, but I feel very satisfied with my high school years here because I kept a positive attitude the whole time.

I’ll reiterate one last time my appreciation for everyone that has been a part of my Harvard-Westlake career. It has been so enjoyable because of the great people involved.

And I’ll conclude my Chronicle career with these two words: Go Cardinals.