Well, evidently pigs DO fly, hell HAS frozen over, it DID snow last summer, the sun DID rise in the west, Easter MUST fall in May this year, the cows MUST HAVE come home, it MUST be a cold day in hell, it IS raining cats and dogs, money DOES grow on trees, and frogs HAVE grown hair… ‘Cuz…
THE CUBBIES ARE IN THE WORLD SERIES!
I’m not sure I can adequately express the extreme monumentalness of this feat (Not even by making up the word, “monumentalness”…lol)… I doubt I completely understand it myself but I happen to be married to a man who has been a loyal and devoted Cubs fan for his entire life.
This is a big deal… This is a VERY big deal.
You see, it hasn’t happened since 1945. And a lot of stuff has happened since 1945… That’s 71 years ago… Heck, Alaska and Hawaii weren’t even states back then.
My darling husband grew up with Wrigley Field in his back yard. He only lived 1.4 miles away – Wrigley Field was actually closer to him than was his high school (1.9 miles away). Though his family didn’t have much money – his parents owned a used book store – he would save up his allowance he earned by doing chores around the store and his house to buy tickets to see the Cubbies play.
Back then he could buy bleacher seat tickets for $2.50 – $3.50 a pop. Nowadays, you couldn’t even buy a soda pop for $3.50. And bleacher tickets are now $52.50 and up. Whoa…
The picture at the top of this post is of Mr. Stars at a Cubbies game at Dodger Stadium a handful of years ago. Please note that he is actually wearing a Cubs jersey in enemy territory. He is a braver man than I.
Mr. Stars remembers everything about going to Wrigley Field… The smell of the freshly mown grass… The sound of the crack of the bat against a homerun ball… The wooden seats… The ivy growing up the outfield wall… How Cubs fans always throw the opposition’s home run hit balls back onto the field with disdain… How the games always used to start no later than 1:05 PM or 2:05 PM because there weren’t night game lights at Wrigley… The list goes on and on…
And he remembers his Mom’s favorite Mother’s Day present – When Mr. Stars was around 12-years-old, he saved up his money and bought Club Box Seats for he and his Mom to go to see a Cubs game together. It was really meaningful to his Mom that he wanted to share this experience with her. The Club Box seats cost around $15.00 for both of them and were only 4 or 5 rows up from the 1st baseline. They also splurged on hot dogs and frozen ice cream malt thingies… She still gets teary-eyed when she tells the story…
Mr. Stars’ favorite players to watch were Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe, Jody Davis, and Mark Grace. His favorite announcers were Jack Brickhouse “Hey, hey!” (1947-1981); Harry Caray (1982-1997) “It might be… it could be… it IS!” “Holy Cow!”; and Lou Boudreo who was both Jack and Harry’s announcing partner.
But Mr. Stars favorite baseball Cubs baseball player of all time is Ernie Banks (1953-1971) – He describes his as the epitome of a baseball player because he had fun playing baseball. Ernie was nicknamed “Mr. Cub” and “Mr. Sunshine” – One because he was the consummate professional baseball player, and the other because he was always smiling and happy… He also happened to be the first African American baseball player on the Cubs.
But he also remembers the Cubs losing. And they lost a lot.
It’s been so interesting to me to compare and contrast the way he and I root for our favorite sports teams. I’m a native Californian and I’m used to teams winning. Oh sure – they often dramatically come from behind and win (I attribute that to living in the television and motion picture capital of the world where drama always reigns supreme) – but they do tend to win at some point… Dramatically or not.
There is generally at least one sports team in the greater Los Angeles area that’s doing fairly well in any given year – If the Lakers are sucking at basketball (and they have been) – We just turn to some other sport that’s currently winning and root for them… I lovingly refer to many of us as “fair weather fans” – ‘Cuz the weather’s actually so good that we simply don’t have the patience for our teams NOT to win – There are simply too many better ways that we can spend our time than to root for a losing team… Pass the Coppertone, please!
I will say that I was SHOCKED at the number of empty seats in Dodger Stadium during the Dodgers playoff series against the Cubs. So many of them were right behind home plate – It was especially embarrassing because you could see the empty seats with every single pitch that was thrown. I mean, who has tickets to an important playoff series and doesn’t make sure someone enjoys them? It’s ridiculous. And wasteful. UGH!
So with sports teams – I am an eternal optimist. I truly believe that every team I’m rooting for will somehow come from behind and win. I root for them until the bitter end. I do NOT ever give up – I’ve seen too many instances where a clutch home run clinches it for a win (Yes, I’m looking at you, Kirk Gibson).
I really get into each game I watch and I always hafta be rooting for one or the other of the teams to win… It is not uncommon for us to watch a football game on a lazy Sunday and I ask Mr. Stars which team we’re rooting for – ‘Cuz that’s just how I roll on the Shire (by the way, last night we saw that episode of The Big Bang Theory when Leonard first says, “That’s how we roll on the Shire” of course making reference to The Hobbit.)
Mr. Stars often just likes to watch a good game – but I want my team of choice to win.
But the Cubbies are a different story. We both root for the Cubbies – Every single time no matter who they play – but sometimes we root for them in different ways.
As I watch the game, I root for them each step of the game – I even nickname or use specific phrases for some of them… It’s like I’m attempting to communicate with them telepathically. To Dexter Fowler I say, “Kill it, Dex!” (a clear reference to the TV show “Dexter” featuring a serial killer) … To Kris Bryant I say, “Come on, Bry”… To Javier Baez I chant, “Javy, Javy, Javy!” To Anthony Rizzo I say, “Come on, Rizzo – Do it for Sandy (obscure “Grease” reference and the fact that my name IS Sandy), I call Ben Zobrist “Z”… and I could go on and on…
I mean… They CAN hear me, right?
Being an optimist, it really doesn’t faze me too much when the Cubbies aren’t winning as they go into the 8th inning. ‘Cuz my team ALWAYS comes back and dramatically wins. And the Cubbies will do the same, right?
Wrong – At least it USED to be wrong. Cubs fans have faced game after game, series after series, season after season of disappointment. They have been trained not to expect their team will ever come back and win… In fact, they have been taught just the opposite.
Often, when the Cubs have a 3-run lead heading into the 8th inning – My husband, along with throngs of Cubs fans from around the country, genuinely worry that even a 3-run lead won’t be enough of a cushion for the Cubs to actually win the game.
Invariably, it isn’t.
The Cubs, or as many call them, “The Lovable Losers,” do just that – they lose. And they usually lose in a BIG way.
But NOT this year…
They won 103 games this year. They just won the National League Pennant. They are IN the World Series for the first time in 71 years!
And Chicago is celebrating! Some sports talking heads are saying that Chicagoans can’t REALLY celebrate until they actually win the World Series. Oh, really? Just WATCH THEM!
The following pictures are from various Instagram accounts as shown… Chicago is ROCKING!
The exuberance and celebrations relating to the Cubs win on Saturday that propelled them into the World Series that begins tonight has accomplished miracles… The curses have been broken… The stigma of “The Bartman Incident” (When a fan interfering with a foul ball that may or may not have been catchable when the Cubs were only 5 outs away from getting into the World Series back in 2003) has been erased…
And then there’s the “Goat.” “The Curse of the Billy Goat” is kind of a sports hex cast upon the Chicago Cubs by Billy Goat Inn tavern owner Billy Sianis in 1945 during game 4 of the World Series. As a publicity stunt to advertise his tavern, Billy brought his pet Billy goat (hilarious, no?) named Murphy to Wrigley Field with him to the baseball game. However, Murphy was so smelly that it bothered some Cubs fans and so Billy and his Billy goat were asked to leave Wrigley Field because of the stench. Allegedly, an angered Billy hexed the Cubs when he said, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more!” Accounts vary as to when he said it and what he actually said… but you get the drift.
Billy Sianis died on October 22, 1970.
The Cubs finally won their entrance into the World Series on October 22, 2016. A coincidence? I think not…
Billy Sianis died on an October 22 and so did his curse. May they both rest in peace.
The Cubbies face the Cleveland Indians in the World Series… Another deserving team that has also not won the World Series in a million years. May the BEST team win…
Most Cubs fans are THRILLED beyond their brains that the Cubs have made it this far this year… All of the decades of Cubs disappointment have now been miraculously eradicated… Many Cubs fans stop themselves just short of dreaming that they could actually WIN the World Series… Wouldn’t want to jinx anything, right?
But late at night… When the only thing awake is the cricket outside my bedroom window… I whisper into the night… Go CUBS Go!
But you can BET Mr. Stars and I will be screaming it at the top of our lungs during each game throughout this historic series.
Go CUBS Go!
Ehrhardt, Nick. “Celebrity Deaths: William Sianis and the Curse of the Billy Goat.” www.Legacy.com. 2010. Accessed on October 25, 2016 at: http://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/article/william-sianis-and-the-curse-of-the-billy-goat
Latrace, AJ. “Here’s How Chicago is Celebrating the Cubs’ World Series Run.” http://chicago.curbed.com. October 24, 2016. Accessed on October 25, 2016 at: http://chicago.curbed.com/2016/10/24/13381626/chicago-cubs-world-series-flythew