Some of you Fire Enthusiasts may have noticed that it is baseball season once again. In spite of everything that I know, I find myself continuing to place both my heart and soul behind a team that seems destined to break both. We have essentially the same starting line-up as last year where we didn’t hit at all, losing more games than we won. In fact, the team was never over .500 which gives you a great indicator as to how the season ended up. There are so many more things I could list, but for now let me simply give you the bottom line: my beloved Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908.
Yes, you read that correctly. It’s been 102 years. Not only this, but they haven’t even been to a World Series since 1945. You remember the year World War II ended, right? It was in all of the papers…
Some of you might be wondering how in the world it could be that a California kid could end up following the Cubs. Although I grew up following the New York Yankees, along with my Dad, something happened in my teens that caused me to place my allegiance with another team. It was called Cable Television. When cable came to my little town it gave me an opportunity to catch baseball games more often. There were two stations that showed nearly every game: TBS and their Atlanta Braves or WGN and their Cubs.
During the 1990’s, the Braves were perennial winners, winning division after division and going to the series many times and ultimately winning one of them, if memory serves. However, during the late 1980’s, they were a very sad team and their stadium attendance reflected this fact: the place was deserted. On the other hand, though the Cubs were not exactly winning anything, Wrigley Field was always packed. Couple this with the fact that they played most of their games during the day, one could see how I could find myself hooked.
If you wonder why it is that this team could be so pathetic over the years, rarely even winning their division, I can only tell you that it is a very long and sad story. They have had some opportunities, but something always seems to impede them. In 1984, before I was a fan, they won the first two games of their play-off by wide margins, only to lose three straight in San Diego. In ’98, they won a one game play-off with San Francisco to get into the play-offs, but lost to the Braves.
In 2003, the team had a great year. They went to the play-offs, once again playing the Braves, but this time beating them handily in their own house. The party stretched from Atlanta all the way back to Chicago, and in fact all across the country as Cubs fans rejoiced. Little did we know the horror that awaited us all. That year the team blew a 3 games to 1 lead in the best of seven series. Five outs away from the World Series, a fan, Steve Bartman, reached out for a foul ball that probably couldn’t have been caught by the left fielder anyway, causing the team to lose their composure and their focus, and ultimately giving up 8 runs that inning. Then they lost game seven.
If I seem a little grumpy as 2011 progresses, you can safely assume that it has more to do with the Cubs than it does dismal book sales!!
Before I go, what baseball team will your household be rooting for? Perhaps I’ll be rooting for your team this year.
Lord knows, I end up having to choose some other team to root for during the play-offs.
We’ll talk soon.