One hundred and eight years – can you believe it?
While most die-hard Cubs fans will remember a play or two or three in the seventh game of this year’s World Series, I will remember best game two in Cleveland. Not because it became the first Chicago Cubs winning game in a World Series since game six of the 1945 World Series, but because I knew memories were being made in section 528.
For over 60 years I dreamed of someday seeing the Cubs in another World Series. I dreamed of being inside the stadium as the Cubs walked onto the field – being in the stadium to watch a Cubs victory.
The former happened this year – The latter did not.
While I sat with an ice pack on my knee, the Cubs took the field for game two trailing one game to none. But, while I wasn’t at the game, I took pleasure in knowing my son Kevin and grandson Joseph were sitting in section 528 waiting to experience the experience of a lifetime.
An experience regrettably I will probably never get to experience.
Still, if there is a second best option, having your son and grandson at the game is that option.
Even if I had been there, I am not sure I could have handled it. As each game progressed I found myself getting more and more nervous. I know a lot of Cubs fans questioned some of the pitching decisions Cubs Manager Joe Madden made – myself included – but I finally figured out what he was doing.
Madden apparently knew my dream was to sit in Wrigley Field and watch the Cubs win the World Series. He knew that was not possible this year so he was just trying to make next year the year the Cubs finally won a World Series.
Next year, my new knees would be old knees – I could go to the games.
While I appreciate what Madden tried to do for me, I am glad he failed. I am glad the Cubs are the 2016 World Champions.
Still, while I enjoyed the final out that made the Cubs the Champions, I enjoyed the next couple of minutes even more. Seconds after that final out my phone rang. The caller was my daughter Kelly congratulating me on the Cubs win. While talking with her, my phone started beeping with a call waiting.
That call was from Kevin. He wanted to congratulate me on the Cubs win.
I have to admit, as long as I waited to hear the words “The Chicago Cubs are World Champions,” those two phone calls meant more to me than any game could. It is amazing when you have kids (If you can call 40 year olds ‘Kids’) who care enough about you to celebrate that moment with you.
That night I had a smile on my face for the Cubs and a smile in my heart for Kevin and Kelly.
Two days later, the smile on my face turned to awe. The City of Chicago held a victory parade for the Cubs.
The Chicago River was dyed Cubs Blue.
An estimated five million people lined the parade route and joined in the celebration.
Five million people?
This got me thinking.
I had read earlier that 40 million people had watched game seven of the World Series on television. I wondered how many of the five million people celebrating with the Cubs on Friday actually watched the game on Wednesday.
If all of them did, that means one out of every eight people who watched the game were at the parade. On the other hand, if they didn’t watch the game, why go to the celebration?
I thought about it a while, and came up with perhaps a different conclusion than might be expected.
The reason – this is a presidential election year.
By the time you read this, America will have a new president. Last Friday at the time of the Cubs victory parade, the election was still a few days away.
So, in a city well known for the great number of “cemetery votes,” I think that many of those five million in attendance for the parade were former Cubs fans who already had plans to leave the cemetery in order to place their presidential votes.
That might explain why the Cubs victory parade and celebration drew the most people in American history, and the seventh most people in world history.
Regardless, this was a year for the ages for Cubs fans. For fans like me who were unable to attend a game this year, we have to look far back and hope history repeats itself.
The Chicago Cubs won the Word Series two years in a row – 1907 and 1908.
I think 2016 and 2017 sounds pretty good to me. All I can say is “Go Cubs Go – Go Cubs Go – Hey Chicago What Do You Say – The Cubs Are Going to Win Again.”
After all, there is always a “next year” for the Cubs and Cubs’ fans – and “next year,” I will be there.
– Mike Cooney