It's about the ring.
The fame; the money; the first-class charter flights. They're all accoutrements of a major-leaguer's lifestyle, not the goal.
Ultimately, the game is played with one vision in mind, with one destination in the heart.
The World Series.
That's what the game is about: Putting a World Series ring on your finger.
Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth learned that at a young age. How could he have not?
"I'm the only one in my family without a ring," he said, laughing. "I feel like I'm missing out on something."
Werth's grandfather, Dick "Ducky" Schofield, won a World Series ring with the 1960 Pirates. His uncle, Dick Schofield Jr., won one with the 1993 Blue Jays. Those weren't the only championship rings around the Thanksgiving table back in Springfield, Ill. Jayson's stepfather, Dennis Werth, earned an American League championship ring with the 1981 Yankees.
"I'm really pulling for Jayson to get one," Dick Sr. said. "There's nothing like winning a World Series. I think he's got a good whack at it with the Phillies."
Werth, who still lives near his grandparents in the offseason, remembers wandering around their house as a youngster. His grandfather, who has Philadelphia area roots, was an infielder for 19 seasons in the majors. His uncle played 14 seasons, mostly as a shortstop for the Angels.
The Schofield home was filled with baseball memorabilia. One memento, especially, grabbed the attention of young Jayson.
"My granddad had a replica of the (1960) World Series trophy in his the house," he said. "I remember staring at it, being intrigued by it. I used to hope that I'd be there, too, someday."
He is. The Phillies, who won the NL pennant Wednesday night in Los Angeles, open play in the World Series this Wednesday night at their AL opponent.
Getting there is nice, Werth said, but the goal will not be fully achieved until he and his teammates slip World Series rings on their fingers.
"It's starting to feel closer," he said. "But at the same time we still have a long way to go. We're still hungry."
In Springfield, Dick Schofield, 73, has watched his grandson and the Phillies on television throughout the postseason.
"It's harder to watch than it was playing," he said. "I remember when my son was playing, I used to live and die with every pitch. It's a little easier now, but I still sweat it out."
Jayson is the son of Kim Werth, a former University of Florida track star. His father, Jeff Gowan was a Cardinals minor-leaguer. Dennis Werth was a reserve with the Yankees and Royals from 1979-82.
With so much baseball experience in one family, you could say Jayson was destined to play in the World Series.
And now that he has made it, he wants to win it.
Because, after all, it is about the ring.
World Series All game times are 8 p.m. except Game 6, which is at 8:30
TV: Ch. 13 Phillies vs. AL winner Wednesday at AL team Thursday at AL team Saturday at Philadelphia Oct. 26 at Philadelphia Oct. 27 at Philadelphia* Oct. 29 at AL team* Oct. 30 at AL team* *If necessary