Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs (and fans) for finally making it into the playoffs. Granted, it hasn’t been the longest drought in playoff history, but it’s been since 2008 that the Cubs have made it to the playoffs. My condolences to the Pirates and their fans, but you just went up against a pitcher who made MLB history in racking up double-digit strikeouts with no walks in a complete game shutout. Hats off to you on a great season regardless. The Cubs have suffered longer and are due for another shot. Of course, everyone knows the World Series drought record belongs to the Cubs with their last appearance coming in 1945 and their last World Series championship coming in 1908. History has been cruel to the North-Siders.
As anyone can guess, it was tough growing up a Cubs fan. My grandpa took me to my first baseball game at Wrigley field way back when. At the time, I just remember being extremely bored as the drive from my hometown to Chicago seemed to take forever. The stadium looks almost the same now as I recall it then, but I certainly didn’t appreciate the rich history of the Friendly Confines and the team as I would in later years. I’m sure my grandpa was hoping for more of a reaction from my brother and I, but we were just too young to really grasp it all. As time passed, I recall summer days spent with my grandpa watching or listening to Cubs games and really enjoying that time (one of my fondest memories of him is listening to the game while he shared some Wrigley’s Spearmint gum). I’m pretty sure, though, that a part of him died when our family moved to Kansas City and I became a Royals fan instead. Maybe he consoled himself with the fact that it wasn’t that big of a deal since it was an American League team. After all, I would still cheer on the Cubs with him when we were together and they were on the radio or WGN.
In later years, I would trek up to Chicago to visit my girlfriend, Mary, and catch a game. I even took my friend, Scott, to his first game at Wrigley. He also received a homerun ball that day by stepping between my legs and catching the ball in front of my girlfriend’s face. Another time, we saw an amazing ninth inning comeback by the Cubbies that cemented my ideology that I will never leave a baseball game early. Never.
Anyway, as much as I would absolutely love a Cardinals v. Royals 30th anniversary rematch, I’m pulling for a Cubs v. Royals World Series. My apologies to my friend, Joel, who is a huge Cardinals fan, but these teams are in my blood.