Cubs fan around the world woke up to joy, tiredness, and no fingernails Nov. 3 because “the curse” was broken. 108 years after their last World Series win the team once more reigned supreme. What a well-deserved victory it was! They battled back from a three game deficit to the Cleveland Indians, took Game 7 into ten innings, due to Cleveland tying it up in the ninth, and rallied in the tenth to win the title. During the entire game every single Cubs fan felt the same way as Cubs 1st
baseman Anthony Rizzo (and all around good guy), who said to fellow teammate David Ross during the game, “I’m a glass case of emotions right now.” My husband was present in body at our home, but his heart and mind were in Cleveland, Ohio. My hair could have been on fire and he wouldn’t have noticed. I, myself, who am not a huge baseball fan, was engrossed as well, for a few different reasons. I grew up in Ohio and my sister, Bobbie, was a huge Cleveland Indians fan. We watched a lot of their games, and even went to a few as kids. Years passed and I stopped watching the game. Then I met my husband, a man who has loved sports, and more importantly the Cubbies, his entire life. We’ve gone to games, bought the gear, and suffered the disappointments of short seasons, like every fan for years before us. So there was something very surreal about the Cubs being there, there was something magical, something wonderful. In our world full of heavy news, and crazy elections, we all needed a bright spot. We needed some goodness, some grace, some hard work that paid off, and we got it. Fans on either side should not be disappointed by the way their teams rallied, fought, and pushed themselves to the pinnacle. But ultimately only one team could win. For a while I was torn, because the baseball of my youth and the baseball of my adulthood were colliding in a huge way.
Who would I root for? Would I be excited either way? I didn’t realize until the Cubs were really in it that I wanted them to win.
I imagine there were others out there like me, or those who had forgotten they were fans, or were only fans for a night. The game beckoned to us like a light on the shore. We had to be there to see history being made, to honor those Cubs fans in our lives who had passed, and because it would make Harry Carey proud.
It’s like James Earl Jones character, Terence Mann, says to Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams,
“Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”
People came that night and whether you’re a die-hard Cubs fan, young or old, rich or poor, we were all dipped in magic waters. History was made in the swing of a bat, the catch of a ball, the stealing of a base and hope was handed out in the winning of a game. The Cubs have made us believe in hard work, dedication to a game, and even miracles, just a little. Wouldn’t you agree?