My journey to Cubdom
Growing up outside Louisville Ky, we didn't have a team of our own. The only team we had on the radio (that's how we had to follow baseball back in the day, kids) was the Big Red Machine. I followed the Reds because I knew nothing else. In fourth grade I was allowed to stay up and watch the World Series. Dodgers versus Yankees. Suddenly all my baeball cards sprang to life. There was Reggie Jackson and Steve Garvey moving on my TV!!!
Before to long we gots cable in the foothills of the Bluegrass State. I split my time between WGN and WOR. I found myself rooting for Grace, Sandberg, and Dunston on one channel and Strawberry, Gooden, and Johnson on the other. I have to admit that the Mets were a helluva lot better at that time and before to long they had a World Series title in tow.
Those of us around my age (36) will remember that baseball owners were charged with colluison around that time for not actually pursuing other teams free agents. Shortly thereafter all hell broke loose and players moved around like plastic on an electric football board. (There was a time Madden football did not exist, and running backs moved in slow, agonizing circles).
I swore off baseball around this time. I was used to familiar cast of characters spring after spring and those days were disapperaing quick. I have always been a fan of the scrappy "tweener" players and there were usually the first guys shipped out of town each offseason. It wasn't until just a few years later that I made my first trip to Chicago.
With a freshly minted "Over 21" ID from the state of Kentucky, we hit the big city. On our second day there we caught a night game between the Cubbies and the Mets. This was during Anthony Young's ridiculous losing streak. I sat there in the prettiest damn ballpark I have seen, drinking cold Old Style, and talking baseball with four Chicago area septegenarians. About the time Ryno went yard it hit me. The Cubs. Of course, the Cubs. I wouldn't be diappointed by them. They had a history of not being that good. I could love these guys and know what I was gonna get back.
They were filled with scrappy guys who we missing those one or two tools needed to be a superstar. It was a team I could get behind and love unconditionally. So that's what I've done. Brainwashed the whole family. Wife, done. Son, done. Daughters, they can sing every word of "Go Cubs Go". I was wrong though, the team has figured out a way to break my heart. You can't help but love this team though. The fans are incredible. The ballpark is Mecca of baseball. The city is my favorite vacation destination, regardless of the season. It's a love affair. I'm hopeless and hopeful all at the same time. Go Cubs!