The Cubs

I grew up in Chicago not too far from Wrigley Field.  I suppose as a kid it might as well have been in Iowa (it actually was only a few miles from our Albany Park apartment.)

I’m not sure how many times I went to a Cub game but I do remember sitting in the bleachers (before we knew about the dangers of too much sun) watching Hank Sauer retrieve plugs of tobacco in left field (before we knew about the dangers of that weed) after he’d hit a homer with that overweight bat of his.  I also vaguely recall Roy Smalley, the pitiable shortstop who was ridiculed by that double play poetic combination of “Miksis to Smalley to Addison Street.”

Ah those were the days.  We never worried about making it to the World Series.  The Cubs in the World Series…unthinkable.  I moved from Chicago over forty years ago but have remained a Cub fan.  Fan is probably too strong a term.  Obsessive anxiety is a better discription of my feelings toward them.  After all, if you held a gun to my head I couldn’t name more than two of their current players.  And even if I could name them, I couldn’t tell you what positions they play.

Over the years I have watched them come close.  Oh so close, only to break my heart at the last possible moment.  Better they should have blown it in July and looked like losers for the rest of the season.  That way I could forget about looking at standings or asking my brother “what’s happening with the Cubs.”  No, instead they have stretched it out any number of times.  Either to be overtaken in the last month of the season or to have some bozo in the stands interfere with a foul ball.  It’s gotten so that I can’t even bear to watch a game…only to clandestinely look for the box score on ESPN before my wife notices.  Such is life with the Cubs.

As I get older, I understand that my time is limited.  I don’t have another hundred years to wait for them to get to, much less win, the World Series.  As I write this blog, they are 4 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee.  By the way, whoever would think that a town like Milwaukee could field a major league contender…they have enough trouble just keeping their breweries going.  The Cubbies (even that name shows how infantile they are) have lost their last four games (yes, I peeked at the standings.)  Is this the beginning of the end or will Milwaukee save their bacon by losing a bunch too?

I know I shouldn’t get worked up about this.  I haven’t lived in Chicago since 1967 and can get to Dodger stadium whenever the feeling hits me.  But there’s something that I can’t really explain.  It’s sort of like the movie “Field of Dreams” where Kevin Kostner practically throws away his farm based on a message from god knows who.  You keep following that dream in the hope it becomes reality.  Come on Cubbies, I haven’t got another hundred years.

2 Responses to “The Cubs”

  1. 1 George Spellman September 3, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Fred, Thank God your not also a RedSox Fan. It took 85 years to win a World Series, and now they have won Two in 4 years. I believe that this is the best Cubs Team in many years, and I don’t think anybody in National League, will beat them in post season. The RedSOX have a tough road ahead of them to repeat, but if somehow they manage to get to the World Series, a Cubs, RedSox match, would be a match made in Baseball Heaven for the Media. (PS) The Dodgers have a chance of winning, since the RedSox gave them the best hitter in Baseball.


  2. 2 robert September 17, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    well i hope the cubs finally get there this year…so i can watch them get demolished by the white sox…like that great blowup disco night at old comisky park…no but really as the national league goes i dont mind the cubs(cough,cough)…butlike my papa i say GO SOX!


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