Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #453 - My well worn Cubs Hat - Last day of Baseball season
Hi Mom, You can't really tell from the picture, but my Chicago Cubs hate is well worn. I take pride in the soiled and aged state of my hat because it proves that I am not a band wagon Cubs fan. I have been a Cubs fan all my life. I may love the Detroit Tigers slightly more, if only because I live in the same state with them, but the Chicago Cubs are definitely my second favorite team in all of sports. And I have owned this hat since about 1990.
In fact, I am pretty sure I bought the hat on my first trip to Wrigley Field, which was the summer of 1990. It was a game against the San Francisco Giants, a team I still despise. It was a blistering hot day, in July, I think. I could hunt for the ticket stub and verify this fact, as I have all my ticket stubs, but I prefer the inaccuracy of memory. My date and I were overwhelmed by the crowd, so many people. We were not sure where our seats were located and suspected they were far away, near the top of the upper deck. So we crouched for the whole game on a stair from one concourse to another with a fairly good view of the field.
|cubs do fun dress up trips - here in pajamas|
In the last 26 years, the hat has seen a great amount of wear, and so I am doubly-pleased that the Cubs have made the post-season, doubly because my Tigers did not. The Tigers lost their bid for the post-season today with a whimper, dropping two of three games over the weekend to the worst team in the NL and the second worst team in all of Baseball. It was pitiful, but then the Tigers are hardly a powerhouse, and even if they squeaked into the playoffs, I did not expect them to advance. Then again, this is EXACTLY what I said in 2006, so I must always remind myself that such predictions are surely conjecture and we never really know which teams will reach the World Series.
And so it is with the Chicago Cubs. They are favorites to win the World Series this year. They have the best record in all of Baseball, which SHOULD ensure them home field throughout the playoffs except for the STUPID significance given to the All-Star Game, which was won this year by the American League and so whatever team advances from that League will host the NL team to start the Fall Classic.
But I am tempering my expectations. I am not predicting the Cubs to win the championship. I am silently hopeful.
I started me Baseball fandom as a kid of around 8 years of age (about 1970). I liked Baseball on the radio and the dulcet tones of Ernie Harwell, the voice of the Detroit Tigers, and the local sportcaster for WKMI, Big Joe, who was also my barber. Though a diehard Tigers fan (because aren't we all supposed to adopt the teams closest to our home?), of all the other teams in Baseball, I started to love the Chicago Cubs. At first, I like them because they were nearby. Chicago is just about as close as Detroit to Kalamazoo. Also, I liked the name concept. There were Bears in football, and these were their baby cubbies. But I did not follow the Cubs as closely, in part, because I had no easy access to their broadcasts.
While in college, as the Tigers set Baseball history with their epic 1984 season, I caught the fever again and watched a lot of Baseball with similarly excited new friends. I remembered my Cubs fandom, too, because the Tigers ALMOST met the Cubs in the World Series that year. But I had not fully plugged into my Cubs love yet.
A few years later, around 1986, I renewed my Cubs love when cable TV finally reached Richland, and I could watch Cubs games on TV. The Chicago Cubs played many day games. In fact, I started watching the broadcasts before lights were installed in Wrigley, so the teams could only play day games.
Cubs games were fun. Wrigley Field, which I visited a few years later, was a blast. Harry Carey was a drunken delight. Later, when I found the radio, I firmly established my love for Pat Hughes and Ron Santo, which is now love for Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer, as I have previously shared on this and my T-shirts blog.
Though there were great Cubs players -- Ryne Sandberg for one -- the Cubs were not winners, and despite flirting with entry to the World Series in 2003 when a fan's catch of a foul ball sparked a massive controversy (did this fan prevent the Cubs from beating Florida in the NLCS?), the Cubs always came close but they did not make the World Series. Last year, the Cubs played well, made the post season, and then were swept in the NLCS by the New York Mets. The series started in New York. Could this have been the x-factor? Because not so this year. This year the Cubs will host the start of all series until the World Series, which, by the right of their stellar season and record, should be theirs to host as well.
Am I going to lose sleep over this team and its wins or losses? Maybe a little. But after 2005 and the Pistons-Spurs NBA finals, I decided to keep my sports fandom a bit more moderate as I lost A LOT of sleep with the agony of that loss. My Tigers have played in two World Series championships in the last ten years (2006 and 2013) and lost both. The Cubs lost last year in their first post-season appearance since 2008. I am used to seeing the teams I love lose. And so I stay moderate. In terms of hope, I have great and very high hopes for the Chicago Cubs. I want to see a World Series championship, but I do not want to jinx it with a prediction, and neither does anyone else from what I have read.
This last day of Baseball season is always sad for me. This day truly marks the end of the summer and the beginning of the Fall, even more than the equinox. Granted, there is more Baseball to be played. But the regular season is over. No more Tigers. No more Baseball games every day. No longer will I have 16 some box scores to review. Fantasy Baseball is over. Sure, there's football. But I do not like football nearly as much as Baseball. Sure, I play Ultimate, but I do not watch any televised Ultimate, and I think radio broadcasts of Ultimate would be awful. Sure, Basketball and Hockey (not a big hockey fan) are just around the corner, but Baseball is really my greatest love. I will watch/listen to as much of the post-season as I can while respecting that my wife does not like sports. I will watch/listen to the Cubs. I am hoping for many decisive victories.
And there is some content for the first time in a while that is both original and new.
Reflect and connect.
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
I miss you so very much, Mom.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 455 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1610.02 - 10:10
NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.