I Had This Amazing Dream Last Night…
I scrunch my face and loudly yawn as my body groggily awakes. My entire being feels battered and bruised. Groaning, I slowly rub my hands over my sleepy eyes and I gradually enter into today.
I had this amazing dream last night… I dreamt the Chicago Cubs won the World Series! I smile to myself and know it could only be a dream, right? I chuckle and remind myself they haven’t won since 1908.
Excerpts from last night’s game began to slowly replay in my mind’s eye… OMG… It WASN’T a dream… The Cubbies DID actually win! Holy crap on a cracker!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!
And they won in the most dramatic fashion EVER! I mean, this IS the Cubs, right? Cubbies’ fans were driven to the brink of despair throughout the game – Yet something was biting our collective dupas to keep us from desperately hurling our bodies overboard into the abyss of anguish and misery forged by 108 years of disappointment.
It was a goat of Cubbies’ past that grabbed the cloth of our clothes and pulled us back on board. Somewhere in the night you hear the faint sound of a nervously rebellious throng chanting, “We ain’t afraid of no goats!”
I smile as I remember how anxious Mr. Stars and I were all yesterday afternoon in anticipation of the game. We made a pot roast with potatoes, onions, celery and carrots for the first time in our crock pot as a diversion. All afternoon we smelled the mouthwatering aroma as it cooked… I think I just wanted an excuse to chop stuff to expend some of my nervous energy.
As the game started, Mr. Stars said that no matter the outcome – this was an amazing series fought by two great teams and that he would be genuinely happy with whatever the outcome. He’s such a good sport. While I wholeheartedly agreed – under my breath I hissed that I STILL wanted the Cubbies to win. Evidently, I’m not such a good sport.
I think true Cubbies fans just couldn’t allow themselves to even remotely imagine the Cubs could possibly win. You see, they’ve been violently disappointed so often in the past… They’ve long since learned they need to protect their hearts by keeping their expectations very low…
The heart-wrenching way the game played out thrust Cubbies’ fans to precariously dangle as they grasped the end of their frazzled last nerve.
I mean, even God laughed when the game was tied after 9 heart-stopping hard-fought innings and there was a freakin’ rain delay before the 10th inning started.
Are you kidding me? This is all a joke, right?
But that rain delay was a gift from the heavens to the Cubbies who were absolutely crushed that the Indians had somehow come from behind and tied the game in the bottom of the 9th inning. The momentum was totally owned by the Indians. The Indians had been behind all game long, but they kept fighting and never gave up. They too, are a team of destiny that was overshadowed by the buzz about goat curses in Chicago.
During the rain delay, Jason Heyward (outfielder) called an impromptu team meeting in the small weight room behind their dugout. After the game, Cub after Cub attributed the turnaround of the attitude of the entire team to Heyward’s pep talk to not give up and that they would win this thing. I call it leadership.
Guess what one of the first things that Jason Heyward did upon signing this year’s 8-year, $184 million contract? He contacted the team’s travel coordinator to arrange to pay for a hotel suite large enough to accommodate David Ross and his family (Wife – Hyla, 7-year old Landri, 6-year old Cole, and newborn Harper) for every single away game they played ALL season long as a retirement gift. Life on the road traveling to away games is gruelingly hard on a family and this gift literally touched David Ross right where he lived.
You see, David Ross had been an important mentor to 19-year old Heyward back when they played for the Atlanta Braves in 2010-2012.
According to the Bleacher Report, Jason said of David, “I know how special it is to have teammates like he was my first three years in Atlanta. You don’t take it for granted. I wanted to say, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” as a teammate and as a friend, for what he’s done for me.”
When I learned of the gesture… I admit that I teared up. And we ALL know there’s no crying in baseball.
Did I mention that 39-year old David Ross hit a homerun in this historically important game? With one ginormous swing of his bat, Ross became the oldest man to ever hit a homerun in the 7th game of a World Series. Ross didn’t even enter the game until Lester, the relief picture, stepped onto the field midway in the bottom of the 4th inning.
This was the final at bat in the final game of David’s 15-year baseball career. Perhaps he should reconsider his departure, right?
I attribute the homerun to the comfy pillows he’s been sleeping on in his fabulous suite.
It is impossible to adequately recap the rollercoaster of a game. Suffice it to say, Mr. Stars and I are still hoarse from it all… There were so many exceptional plays (and some that were heartbreaking) for one team or the other.
However, for me, it came down to 2 very important hits. The first one happened when the first batter of the night (Cubbies’ Dexter Fowler) hit a home run off a highly celebrated and seemingly unhittable Cleveland Indian pitcher, Corey Kluber. After Dexter finished rounding the bases and made his way to the dugout, an excited Anthony Rizzo met him at the entrance and emphatically told him they NEEDED that run. Everyone could read Rizzo’s lips… lol.
The second important hit happened in the top of 10th inning when they resumed play in extra innings after the rain delay.
Kyle Schwarber was up to bat. Due to an injury in the 3rd game of the season, he hadn’t played in a single game for the rest of the season before the World Series began. Even then, he was only cleared by his doctors to bat and run the bases. The American League’s “Designated Hitter” rule means that pitchers aren’t compelled to bat and that teams can actually designate a hitter to bat in their stead. This opened the door to Kyle being able to play in half of the World Series games (Half of the games follow American League rules; the other half follows National League Rules… Silly, isn’t it?).
This was one of those games.
Kyle stepped up to the plate and got an all-important hit. It signaled to the Cubs that they weren’t out of it yet. In the 10th inning, the scrappy Cubs somehow pulled themselves from the edge of the abyss and catapulted them once again into the lead that ultimately won them the game.
- In the 5th inning, 2 of my favorite players were standing in their dugout. Anthony Rizzo (27-years old) confided to seasoned veteran, David Ross, “I can’t control myself right now – I’m trying my best.” David Ross responded, “It’s understandably so, buddy.” Rizzo continued, “I’m emotional…” Ross sympathized and said, “I hear ya.” Anthony analyzed himself and concluded, “I’m an emotional wreck.” David Ross sagely told him, “Well, it’s only going to get worse… Just continue to breathe – that’s all you can do, buddy – it’s only going to get worse…” Thankfully, David Ross was mic’d for the game or we wouldn’t have heard that exchange. David Ross didn’t know it – but he was giving advice to millions of Cubs fans, including me – “Just continue to breathe…”
- By the way, in 2008, Anthony Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy for 6 months. In September of that year, doctors told him he was in remission and by November, they told him he could go on and live a normal life. However, Rizzo chose not to live a “normal” life but instead, he chose to live out his dream and live an “extraordinary” life. His professional and exuberant attitude and his outstanding performance propelled him to be on the short-list for MVP of this World Series. At least in MY opinion… lol.
- Beyond Words – I just came across an amazing story of a cancer survival connection between Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo contained in a great ESPN article that can be accessed at: http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/17659023/cancer-survivors-contenders-anthony-rizzo-jon-lester-bond-goes-deeper-cubs
- Chicago Cubs owner, Tom Ricketts, paid for tickets, airfare, and hotel accommodations for all full-time staffers (Over 400 employees and their +1s) to ALL of the World Series away games in Cleveland. The Cleveland Indians owner, Paul Dolan did a similar thing for his 300+ member staff for the games in Chicago. How awesome is that?
- There didn’t seem to be ANY hesitance whatsoever on the part of fans to wear their team’s jerseys with pride when they were in the stadium of the opposing team. Sadly, that can’t be said for all teams.
- It had been 108 years since the Cubs won the World Series. There were 10 innings in the game with the Cubs scoring 8 runs = 108. There are 108 stitches in a baseball. Coincidence? I think not.
My darling husband, a life-long, diehard Cubs fan, without batting an eye, casually said, “If I had tickets – I’d give them to him.” My eyes instantly bugged out and my mouth flew open in utter amazement. While I consider myself to be somewhat of a “giver” – I’m just selfish enough to have chosen to keep the tickets for ourselves. Tears of genuine pride soon flooded my eyes.
Over and over again Mr. Stars demonstrates to me that It’s a Wonderful Life that we live… And honestly, I’m convinced that when my husband uttered those unthinkably generous words… That somewhere out there – a bell rang… And it signaled that the Cubbies would soon get their World Series rings.
But I guarantee you even today… After the scores have long since been finalized – That millions of Cubs fans all over the world are STILL waiting for the final shoe to drop…
‘Cuz this was ALL just a dream, right?
For those interested in author, Brad Meltzer (His children’s books are fabulous! – His other books are too, I just especially love his children’s books…lol…) – You can follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/bradmeltzer or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BradMeltzer/
Arielle Aronson. “Jason Heyward Made Cubs Catcher David Ross Cry With His Retirement Gift” www.foxsports.com. May 23, 2016. Accessed on November 3, 2016 at: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chicago-cubs-jason-heyward-david-ross-theo-epstein-road-trips-052316
You can follow Arielle at: https://twitter.com/aharonson28
Jayson Stark. “How Did the Cubs’ Curse End? With the Greatest Game Ever”
www.espn.com. November 3, 2016. Accessed on November 3, 2016 at: http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/page/playoffs16_greatestgame7/how-did-cubs-curse-end-greatest-game-ever
You can follow Jayson on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/jaysonst
Liam McGuire. “Cubs owner Tom Ricketts flew 400-plus team employees to World Series.” www.msn.com. November 2, 2016. Accessed on November 3, 2016 at: http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/cubs-owner-tom-ricketts-flew-400-plus-team-employees-to-world-series/ar-AAjLUvm?li=BBnb7Kz
You can follow Liam on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LiamRMcGuire
Robert Sanchez. “When Anthony Rizzo Was Diagnosed With Cancer, Jon Lester Threw Him a Lifeline.” www.espn.com. September 28, 2016. Accessed on November 3, 2016 at: http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/17659023/cancer-survivors-contenders-anthony-rizzo-jon-lester-bond-goes-deeper-cubs
You can follow Robert on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/MileHighRobert