It seems weird to have this blog in which I document large swaths of my life and not at at least make some note in passing that the Cubs finally ended a drought of 108 years and won the World Series last night.
I can’t help but think about all those people who die within days of their spouse, or just after retiring — are we going to see a spate of deaths among Cubs fans who can now die happy? Is my mom going to drop dead now?
Morbidity aside, it’s no secret that I’ve never been a huge fan of baseball — the season is too long and that detracts from the drama, and the lack of a salary cap creates a core of teams that will win the title on a regular basis and a tier of also-rans. The strike in the mid-90’s that canceled the World Series was what finally killed it for me. Oh, I watch from time to time, usually during the World Series, and there were those couple of years of Home Run Derby where Bonds, Sosa, and McGuire were battling for the single-season home run record. But other than that, I spend my springs and summers marking time until the NFL gets underway.
Last night was special. This Series was special. Two teams, perrenial also-rans, both suffering through long spans between titles, sometimes getting close to greatness, and they meet at the same time and place to determine who wins the title. And the baseball was solid, home field advantage clearly meant nothing, and it came down to a Game Seven and extra innings and a rain delay. It was a great battle between groups of exhausted pitchers running on fumes, with solid hitting, and a score that bounced from lead to tied to lead to tied to eventual victory. It was beautiful. It was, in my book, the best World Series that’s ever been played.1
So congrats Cubs fans, your team came through. Even if they’d lost, they’d still be champions with the way they played this World Series and this season. I couldn’t be happier for you. And watching your joy and relief at finally ending that drought made my allegiance to a sports franchise that’s always “close” a little easier to bear.
Somewhere, Ernie Banks and Harry Carey are laughing, crying, and hugging each other.