The Dream – Brandon Belt
You wait your entire life to get here. You play make-believe in the backyard. You watch the games on TV through high school and college and then in the minor leagues, imagining what it’d be like to hear your name announced or to stand in the batter’s box with the game on the line or spray Champagne on your delirious teammates.
The postseason is so much more than I expected. I still can hardly believe it. We’re just having a blast right now.
We did something together in Cincinnati that no other National League team had ever done. And going into Cincinnati, we knew if any team could do it, we knew we could because we play for each other.
I think that speech from Hunter in the locker room made a big difference. Boch had told the story of Gideon, about how the underdogs came out on top. Boch always comes up with something that puts everything in perspective and puts you in your right mind. Then Hunter stood up and said, “Hold up, hold up, I want to stay something.’’
He had told me earlier that he was going to say something. So I knew it was coming. But other people were like, OK, let’s see what he’s got.
He was sort of calm at first then it just started coming out, amping up. At one point I thought he might cry. It was just real emotional. He said how he wants us to win so he has one more day to play with all of us. But the power of the speech wasn’t as much in what he said but in HOW he said it. You could just tell it was so genuine and heartfelt. You could see guys’ faces start to change. They started to smile. You could almost see the spark.
Personally, I had never been through something like that before. We were even calling it a Friday Night Lights type of speech. Like a Texas high school football thing. I’m from Texas – and my dad is a football coach – and I’ve never heard anything like it.
It reminded us how much we really love playing with each other. Everybody on this team loves playing with each other. And when we play for each other, we do really well. Even though it’s a cliché, we really did take it one game at a time — let’s go out and win this game tonight. That’s all we could do. You can’t think about, “Oh, we have to win three games.’’ You just worry about tonight. That’s what we did. We focused on one at-bat, one inning, one game. We didn’t give up.
We got back to the hotel after that game about 7 p.m and I just crashed. It was so emotionally and physically draining. I slept for two hours then Haylee and I went to grab a bite. Neither of us wanted to wait in a restaurant for an hour to get our food. So we just went to Chipotle next to the hotel.
My father-in-law and some family friends came to the game, but I think my dad is going to drive up from Texas to St. Louis. That’s one reason I’m glad we’re not playing the Nationals. He’d have to fly and he won’t fly by himself. (My mom can’t come.)
I can’t wait to hear what Hunter has to say today. Sometimes people will get up there and try to force the issue, and it’s not genuine and it falls flat. But when something’s genuine and it’s delivered with so much emotion, it can’t help but spark something inside you.
I don’t know if we need another spark going into the first game of the NLCS, but it’s become a tradition now.
Beautiful day for baseball. Go Giants!