“Celebrate Like 1908” was the sign held high yesterday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The Cubs defeated the arch-rival St. Louis Cardinals to win their baseball Division series. Time to bring on either the Mets or the Dodgers. To echo Harry Carey, “Cubs win! Cubs win!”
Reason 1908 has meaning…actually two reasons. The first is it’s the birth year of my father. “Dad? You can rest in peace and somehow know the Cubs are winning.” My father so loved the Cubs that we’d tape their games and play them through the winter…Dad loved it! He always compared his grandson, Brian, with Ryne Sandberg…a great comparison.
The second? 1908??? It’s the last year the Cubs won the World Series.
I love it. If for no other reason…far beyond it’s been more than 100 years passed…than once I became an ardent and uncompromising Cubs fan in 1966, my first summer in Chicago wearing the collar of ordained ministry, my loyalty was never dropped or compromised.
So many afternoons—well not that many but all memorable—Fred Trost and I would have an “afternoon seminar” at Wrigley. Starting first, of course at Franksville, a great hamburger hut across the street from Wrigley Field. Think they had 20 versions of hamburgers [yes, really] but Fred and I never had any doubt: #7 heavy on the Mayo.
Those were exciting years for the Cubs—with Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins…ah, the list goes on. 1969 was to be “their year,” but they blew it in September, giving way to the Mets. Such grim reality. Think I’ve never smiled when hearing “Mets” since. And, it may be. If the Mets beat the Dodgers, the Cubs will take on the Mets…and hopefully none of the Cub players knows anything about 1969.
So. The Cubs are a winner. So far. But, you know? I’m still rooting them on…even if….no, I won’t write that.
As my sister, Marilyn, has advised over the years, “If you don’t stand for something, then you’ll fall for everything.” Ah, I do stand for something, waving high now the affirmation, CELEBRATE LIKE 1908!!!