Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Cubs win the World Series

A pterodactyl delivers the good news Wednesday night at the Field Museum . 

      It starts with a ball. Foam or rubber or one of those hollow blue plastic spheres that comes in a set with a fat red bat and a brown toy mitt.
     But a parent, a mom or a dad, tosses that ball to a toddler. And the baby, joyful, grabs the ball in a fat fist and flings it back in the general direction of the delighted dad or mirthful mom.
     So it begins. Working toward a real hardball and more complicated games: catch in the yard; base runner; pick-up with the kids on the block. Enter professional ball, watched on television, tucked safely under dad's arm, cheering when he cheers.
     The dream builds slowly. Those backyard players troop off to Little League, to park district squads. Parents watch instead of playing, mom drives from game to game, dad camps out in the stands.
     Others may not play, but channel their passions in baseball cards, into fandom, memorizing stats and records, half hobby, half religion.
     By then they've divided their loyalties, North and South. Few root for a distant team; you grow where you're planted. South Siders cleave to the White Sox, who lived their dream not long ago. Don't anybody forget. Chicago won the World Series in 2005.
To continue reading, click here. 

Even Sue the T-Rex couldn't help but smile. 



  1. Good column Neil. Great game, great series and a great season. This Cub team has been a joy to watch.

  2. I hope I'm not repeating something that's already been said a thousand times, but I think it fitting that the game in a manner of speaking ended in a tie. Although Clevelanders probably won't be consoled, we here in Chicago have put up with less, much less, for many many years.


  3. This does not bode well at all. It seems one or more Cub fans has signed one of those infamous contracts with Beelzebub. The Cubs are allowed to win a World Series, in exchange for their immortal soul. No doubt signed by clever atheist who don't believe there is such a thing as an afterlife. Well think again, look at the fine print, there is no mention of an afterlife. Things are destined to take a turn for the worse, beginning with a Trump Presidency. Thanks a lot.

    1. Well it worked didn't it? Now onto next year, let's win two!

  4. Beautiful! You grow where you're planted: one of my greatest memories of my father was when he took me to Wrigley for a game from Naperville. We could have easily driven in but he wanted to show me how to get to Wrigley myself via Metra & CTA. My first live MLB game, at Wrigley, was in August of '69, and turned out to be Ken Holtzman's first no-hitter. The collapse that year weighed heavily from then on (followed closely thereafter by a Blackhawks collapse '71). This is so, so sweet and I really appreciate your take. thx!

  5. So many feel-good stories. Kyle Schwarber, coming back to help his team when it was needed most. David Ross, a home run in his last game ever.

    Still, Joe Maddon is the luckiest SOB in Chicago. If the Cubs had lost, his pulling Hendricks for allowing one lousy walk (on a terrible call--that plate umpire had a strike zone about the size of a business card) and putting Chapman in after overusing him for no good reason in game six, would have put him in billy-goat-black-cat-Steve-Bartman territory.

  6. "If the Cubs had lost" But they didn't lose. The Cubs fan's dark mindset runs so deep, an analysis of the game has to include an alternate universe of despair. Not this morning friend.

    Another example of the mind of the Cubs fan: My son, cursed with a passion for the Cubs, fell into despair after the 8th inning Cleveland home run. "Dad" he said, "If the Cubs lose and Trump wins, I can't imagine how depressed I'll be."

    I gave him a quick primer on how we survived the killings of the Kennedys and MLK, the resignation of Nixon, the Civil War and so on. "America will survive whatever happens with Trump" I told him.

    I think I convinced him. Now, could somebody convince me?

  7. Well said, Dennis, about priorities.

  8. Great column, and I read this one in the paper as I had rushed out to get copies of both Chicago newspapers at dawn. For a Cubs fan my age, it's like achieving any other significant lifetime goal, one I'll savor for many days.

  9. Get delivery, more convenient and cheaper overall.

  10. I'm looking for my comment here and don't see one; what was I thinking? I guess I was still in Cub Fan Euphoria and forgot to add my thanks for this wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime(?) column.



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