Last night was simply amazing. It was one of the most thrilling cumulative nights of baseball to ever occur, and I will leave it to much better writers than I to explain the awesomeness and the significance of what happened. But as a blogger, and someone whose profession is in the digital media field, I have to comment on just how unprecedented last night’s experience was for millions of people across the globe.
Simply put, last night could not have happened even five years ago. No, the baseball world has never seen a roller coaster night of ups and downs filled with the implications that we experienced yesterday, but even if it had, there is no way it would have been ingested in quite the same way that made it so exceptionally special.
From 10 p.m. on, I sat in my living room with the television tuned to ESPN to monitor the Rays and Yankees game, while at the same time I watched the Braves vs. Phillies and Red Sox vs. Orioles contests on my laptop and iPad via MLB.TV. I was locked in, ready to see whatever happened on the night streaming in real time. Meanwhile, I chatted with baseball fans, some of them friends, some of them strangers, on Twitter throughout the night as the events unfolded.
As a result, I was able to watch two of the biggest collapses AND one of the most courageous comebacks in the history of the game, SIMULTANEOUSLY. Meanwhile I was able to share that experience with millions of baseball fans from across the globe through Twitter. I instantly saw the emotions from all ends of the spectrum as shared on Twitter, and was immediately supplied with fascinating content and anecdotes on the events of a night I will never forget. It was absolutely unbelievable, and made one of the most magical nights in baseball history even more incredible to digest.
Outside of my living room, I have to believe technology impacted the experiences of those fans lucky enough to be at one of those games as well. After the Red Sox were defeated by the Baltimore Orioles, you could hear the fans in Tampa Bay cheer before even the announcers or the local scoreboard operators knew what was going on. Through smart phones, many fans were likely huddled around one another keeping an eye on the other unbelievable events of the night, while personally experiencing one themselves.
Five years ago, if you attended a game on the last day of the regular season and your team happened to be in the playoff chase, the only way you could know what was happening around the league was by the updates on the out of town scoreboard. Last night, fans no doubt watched streaming video as the out of town games that had major implications on their own team’s season went down.
The numbers from last night are baffling, and the heroics by Evan Longoria and the Baltimore Orioles will be remembered for years to come. Red Sox and Braves fans will be telling their children about the infamy of the evening, and most other fans will tell tales of where they were, and how they watched. It was the baseball gods that made last night what it was, but it was the technology that helped us truly ingest it.