Editor’s Note: This column was written prior to game seven of the World Series. The Cubs went on to beat the Indians, 8-7 in 10 innings to win their first World Series since 1908.
By the time this story is published, the world will already know who the 2016 World Series champion will be! Will it be Matt Rogers’ Cleveland Indians, who haven’t won a title since 1948, or my beloved Chicago Cubs, who we all know have gone 108-years since their last championship. See, I wrote this just hours after the Cubs 9-3, game six win to send it to the seventh game.
I know you’re asking yourself why, and I have a great answer . . . OK, I couldn’t sleep in anticipation of Wednesday!
My love for this beautiful game, and the Cubs, started at an early age, thanks to my father, Dennis, who put a ball and glove on my hands at the age of four. I started playing coach pitch at the age of five, and the love for the game was in full swing!
I started as a Cincinnati Reds fan and The Big Red Machine. My Dad took me to many games at Riverfront Stadium, and back in the late ‘70’s, early ‘80’s, you could stand outside the clubhouse and get autographs. I had Ron Oester, Dave Concepcion, and George Foster, just to name a few. I never could get Pete Rose or a Johnny Bench, although I did my best every time they stepped out of the dugout!
It wasn’t until the age of 12, that I became a die hard Cubs fan. The Little League program that I played in, Harry Bridges Little League in Elwood, Indiana, took a bus to Wrigley and somehow we were able to be on the field with Cubs players showing us how to play their position.
I just remember the awe of being on the grass and getting the opportunity to shake hands with Jodi Davis and Rick Sutcliffe. At that moment, Wrigley Field became my Mecca, and the Chicago Cubs my team.
That’s also the day that I learned about the “Bleacher Bums” that filled the seats in left and right field for every Cubs home game. They introduced themselves well by chanting that left field wasn’t all that, in not so many words, and returning the favor. You never saw that at Riverfront , and we were all 12 once and just how awesome that was to see and hear.
Now, fast forward 31-years, and I’m seeing something that I never thought I’d see, the Cubs, not only playing in a World Series, but a Game 7 with all the marbles on the line.
You see, this is a day that so many of my former coaches, friends’ parents and co-workers who were Cubs fans didn’t get to see! We all know someone who’s passed that didn’t get to see this moment, this moment that we’ve all waited for through losing season after losing season!
Connor and I are making the trek to Chicago Wednesday just to be in Wrigleyville to watch Game 7 and hopefully celebrate with all of the die hards in Chicago! And what will we do if the Cubs lose, we’ll still celebrate that we were down 3-1 and forced a Game Seven!
Win or lose, I’m darn proud, like many of us in this community, to be a Cubs fan. If they don’t win Wednesday, I’ll just refer to one of my Cubs shirts that says, “There’s always next year!”