The Sixth Stage of Grief: An Oral History of the Tokyo Lift Part 2

By: Spotter Pandora

In Season 14, the Tokyo Lift appeared in the playoffs— in what we know now as the Overbracket— for the very first time. We were knocked out by the Hades Tigers in the quarterfinals, but still celebrated a victory for gym rats everywhere.

In Season 14, we also suffered our first loss as a team, in the form of Wyatt Quitter’s Staticking— on Day 99, no less. Following the epic highs and lows of Friday Blaseball, how could Sunday compare? Well, let’s start with the Blessing we won.

Stijn Strongbody, team captain and famous mathematician, Elwin McGhee, extra-dimensional fungus inhabiting the body of a humanoid bug-thing, and Freemium Seraph, a robotic replica from Before. None of them were very good before winning the Soul Swap blessing, but something about Stijn’s experiments required Seraph’s soul to swap thrice, as well as their and Elwin’s once. The end result? Stijn and Elwin became much more optimized, but Seraph became much worse, despite a higher star count.

As for Wills, Cudi di Batterino finally came to pitch using Foreshadow, and burgeoning star Engine Eberhardt became even better using Infuse. In fact, before the infuse, Engine was actually in line for Soul Swapping.
You might know Engine these days for their appearance on the triples and stolen bases leaderboards. Good thing Blessings fire before Wills, or else they might’ve had a much harder time getting on base in the coming seasons.

Season 15, in light of these improvements, was incredible… for our standards at the time.

Coming off of the first positive non-loss differential in franchise history (51-48), Lift barely missed playoffs. In addition, because of an Idol Board plan, Nandy Slumps was attacked by a consumer in the last few days of play.

But that wasn’t a setback, per se. Nandy was an awful pitcher, an okay batter, and a good baserunner. We had been planning to move them to the Lineup anyway. That… wasn’t exactly the right choice in hindsight.

A promising prospect before their chomp, that 4.56 Earned Run Average turned into a .17 Batting Average during Season 16. Honestly, we should’ve just shadowed them.

But Nandy’s performance wasn’t the only tragedy of season 16, given that beloved Co-Captain Lance Seratonin was Redacted from our roster. Lance was Attracted by the Chicago Firefighters and Alternated that very Election by their On Deck Blessing. If they ever leave the Shadows, they won’t be the same Lance we knew. Let’s hope the Call treats them kindly.

And may the Sixth Stage carry on.

Speaking of Lift players lost in the Elections, Goodwin Morin was traded for Halexandry Walton, and Ayanna Dumpington was traded for… Jessica Telephone. Ring Ring, I suppose.

At the same time, Gerund Pantheocide was Moved from pitching to hitting— a much better swap than Nandy’s! In fact, on the very first pitch of their very first game batting, they hit a triple, briefly giving them a career Batting Average of 1. The team rode this high until day 44, during which Stijn Strongbody was incinerated, losing the Lift their second captain in as many seasons.

After that, our season kind of petered out. We missed the Playoffs. Badly. We weren’t very good to begin with, but a new birth wrecked our shot utterly.

On a lighter note, Season 17’s Elections saw us trade for Inky Rutledge and Infuse Cudi di Batterino.
Inky Rutledge isn’t on our current roster. Neither is Goodwin Morin or Jessica Telephone. The Tokyo Lift has gained and lost a surprising number of legends of the game, including former PODs. It’s wild.

After a fairly uneventful season 18 (41-58), the elections held massive shakeups. With Turntables, we finally had a chance at victory. Engine, however, started their Road Trip between Tokyo and Dallas (and back again). Jessica Telephone was Alternated, and Cudi di Batterino was given the mod Intuitive.

Lots contributed to the Season 19 Victory of the Tokyo Lift over the Seattle Garages in a five-game Internet Series for the ages!

Let’s talk about the actual bracket, though.

Wild League Bracket

Going 46-53 in a season where winning is losing allotted us fourth seed, playing the Chicago Firefighters. Since the playoffs were the worst teams in the league, the wildcards were automatically the favorites— but the Firefighters choked. A dunk by Elsewhere Halexandry Walton sealed their fate in this series, letting us move on to the next.
Next was the Mexico City Wild Wings. As the first seed, they were the worst team in the Wild League. An easy opponent, ending their run with a shutout by Coolname Galvanic.

The next series with the Flowers was the same. This series went to five, and Coolname pitched a perfect game to end it.

Finally, the Internet Series.
It had all come to this.
The Garages seemed doomed to lose at this level, though.

In 5, with a Coolname Galvanic shutout.

Our first ring. The very first.

This era of the Lift started with grief and ended with elation. For Quitter, for Stijn, for Lance, for all those that are left behind.

The best of the worst. The Season 19 Champions.

The Tokyo Lift.
And may the Sixth Stage carry on.

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