You may be big NFL fan. You may be a big NBA fan. We all have our favorite sports. But, after last night, you’d be hard-pressed to argue that ANY sport ends its season in more memorable fashion than baseball.Because you always have to get that last out. There’s no clock to run down. You can’t kneel. You bleed time off. In baseball, the other team always gets a last chance at you. And you have to stop them for the damn thing to finally be over. When an NFL team wins a Super Bowl, they usually start pouring out onto the field while the clock is still winding down. You’ll see a lot of players look around at the end of a football game as if to say, “Hey, it’s okay for us to go out on the field, right? OKAY!” And even before that clock runs out, if you’re up by 14 points or so with a minute left, the game was never really in doubt. Same with basketball. The existence of the clock means that certain leads are insurmountable. But not baseball. In baseball, leads are ALWAYS surmountable. So you can’t rest until that last out. You can hardly breathe until that last fucking out is recorded. So when that final out comes, what it does is provide a single unified moment of pure, shared ecstasy. Everyone explodes together, in that one instant. And that’s what you saw last night. And that’s why that moment is forever. You REMEMBER that last out. You remember Orosco. You remember Wainwright. And now, you remember Lidge. Say what you will about FOX, but after the game ended, the network was smart enough to simply replay the moment of Brad Lidge’s strikeout again and again and again. From every angle. We saw Ryan Howard react. We saw Jimmy Rollins react. We saw the dugout react. We saw Lidge react. We saw fans jump higher than a moon shot. We saw outfielders instantly break into a sprint towards the mound, hands raised. It was if they had isolated a camera on every single person in the stadium in order to capture them in that one fleeting second. And God dammit, it was glorious. It’s easy to be cynical about baseball sometimes. But only baseball, among all sports, gives you that moment of the last out. That one second where all the tension, all the anxiety, and all the hopes and fears explode into a giant cathartic roar. That’s the one thing that baseball has above all sports. And that’s why it will never die. Picture from ESPN.com