Unless you’ve been living in a clamshell for the past week, you’re aware that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908. I have been a lifelong Cubs fan. I grew up listening to Harry Carry and Steve Stone announce the games from “beautiful Wrigley field.” When I was a young boy, my friend and I wrote a letter to the Cubs. We told them, “We like the home runs you make.” The Cubs wrote us back thanking us for our support and giving us Cubs pencils and stickers. I imagined Ryne Sandberg sitting in the dugout reading our letter. I was hooked.
Summer Sundays were a ritual in my house: church in the morning, lunch with my grandparents, and the Cubs in afternoon. But it wasn’t just Sundays. If the Cubs were playing, they were on our TV or radio. For six months each year the Cubs were playing to the rhythm of our daily lives.
Once a year we would drive to Chicago to see a Cubs game. The experience was overwhelming for a boy from a small town. The buildings were so tall, the city so alive, and Wrigley Field so green. At one game, my favorite player Jody Davis was at bat and the crowd started chanting “Jody! Jody! Jody!” He hit a home run into the left-field bleachers. I couldn’t believe it. The Jody chant worked. It really worked. Baseball is magic.
My first taste of alcohol came in 1989 when my dad poured a sip of champagne for my brother and me to celebrate the Cubs winning the division and advancing to the pennant. I didn’t like the taste of champagne, but I did like the feeling of the Cubs winning. That season ended in disappointment.
The Chicago Cubs narrative for the past 108 years has been Someday. The more optimistic fans would say next year. For more than a century it didn’t happen. An entire generation of Cub fans lived and died saying Someday. Over time it felt foolish to keep saying Someday so many embraced the “cursed” narrative. It provided an explanation for our perpetual disappointment.
Wednesday night, Game 7, I watched pacing back and forth, my palms pressed together beneath my chin, my stomach twisted in knots. We are so close, I kept thinking, so close.
It was one of the most incredible baseball games I’ve ever witnessed and this time it did not end with disappointment. It ended with jubilation.
My friends, it is not foolish to say Someday. It is not foolish to believe. Curses be damned. The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series.
A WRITER AND TRAVELER KEEPING THE FAITH IN LOS ANGELES