Hasn’t it always been cool…

…to be a Cubs fan.

Until now that is. Although, it could just be me that finds anything mainstream totally blase. My apologies to the literary world already as I know not how to make the acute accent mark.

Still confused. Let me try this knew language to express part of my ambivalence towards the cub fans of today*.

Definition included if you still needed help understanding what i’m trying to say.

I’ve been seeing a lot of t-shirts and stickers that would leave you to believe that at some point in the last 116 years it has not been cool to be a Cubs fan. The White Stockings and Colts don’t count. True fans of any team really never think of it as being cool. We love baseball, we love the grind of the season, win or lose. Lets be clear winning is always better than losing.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe at the ripe old age of 39, soon to be 40, I’ve turned into a sports curmudgeon. Not in the likes of,

Jim Anixter “Pink Hat Guy”

I can’t afford those seats. Mr. Anixter story is an interesting one. If you don’t know about him, look him up. I more closely associate myself with..

Dorothy Farrell

I had the absolute pleasure to sit next to Dorothy for a game. She was a spectacular lady. Her love for life, honesty, and the cubs was infectious. Harry made a comment about my shirt. It was a yellow Hawaiian button up shirt. I had no idea where we would end up. It turned out to be a lucky shirt that got ruined in college.

I’ve at least experienced Wrigley in it’s almost natural state during the 80’s. With a friend(s) or brother we would skip school, take the train, or drive to Wrigley. We could get tickets from box office day of and enjoy a game at the Friendly Confines. As we got older we skipped work. It cost more (tickets and beer) it was a different kinda fun. But I never did get a foul ball. I dove on top of the visiting dugout once, with my yellow Hawaiian shirt, and Harry made a comment first about the shirt, then about my effort…..

sprawling out on the dug was a guy in the yellow shirt.

Harry Carey about me diving on top of visitors dug out

Boy Steve I tell you what after watching that replay that young man really gave quite an effort for that ball. I hope he’s alright. And look at Dorothy she pats him on the back.

No need to worry Harry just a nice contusion on my thigh and and a great story to share

Sadly, I never even thought about saving that VHS. It was reused the next week. After I showed my friends of course. I was a teenager after all.

Look at all those empty seats. Day of game tickets for cost, sometimes less if you got them across the street.

My relationship with the Cubs started as most often did

If you were a baseball fan around Chicago it was Cubs or Sox

Being a kid growing up in the Greater Chicagoland TV viewing area who enjoyed nothing more than sports you were either a Cubs or Sox fan. Either one great to root for, but you could only root for one. My dad was in charge of the remote when home, and would set the VCR to record each day game during the week. I thought he was crazy, and he was, but this was the DVR, Que, of Tevo in the world. For in the 80’s and early 90’s all the Cubs games were broadcast over the air on WGN for free. Again, it was a different time.

Over the course of my almost 40 years on this planet I have been a cubs fan. My earliest sports memories are of watching the 84 NLCS with my dad after he got home from work. I was 4. I don’t recall specific moments except…

My first heartbreak

Cubs lose best of 5 series 3-2 after winning first 2.

By ’89 I was just about 10 and a Cubs junky thanks to my old man. We still watched all the games together. Although by then I did figure out how to watch games after school and not mistakenly change the channel on VCR. I won’t tell you all of what I inadvertently recorded and broadcast to my dad per our discussion when I turned 15.

To which I did and always reply,

They were losing anyway

and you were the one that needed a cheater box

Not coincidentally is why I can’t stand the San Francisco Giants and Will Clark.

Cubs lose best of 7 series 4-1. It was a 5 game series. 1 and 2 were blowouts.

But I was given one of the greatest gifts of all for Christmas that year.

Now onto my formative years the 90’s. Baseball cards were still a thing and I had team set for every year going back to 84. ADD anyone? ADHD for sure. But no one knew of that stuff back then. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

90’s mlb leader in hits and doubles. Multiple gold gloves
Remember the Shawn o meter? Always risin
Ryno! Ryno!

Harry and Steve Stone. A great booth for a young kid to grow up with. I still credit them and being a first baseman to my ability to talk with anyone. Same with Pat and Ron and ironically Pat and Ron today. Pat Hughes. Santo>Coomer but if Coom keeps it up he’ll join the list.

545 hops of joy (+/- 35)
We got Wood
5/6/98

Not to mention 2003. That one probably hurt the most. Not because of the foul ball but because of everything that happened leading up to and after*.

I could go on. But most the world knows the rest of the story. I could predate myself with names like Kingman, Reuschel (Rick and Paul). That doesn’t even include ’69 and I haven’t even mention The Hawk or the Bleachers. If you weren’t there for the actual bleachers you can’t even possible imagine. It was joyful, it was painful, it was honest. It just was.

To get back to where I started. It’s always been cool to be a true fan of any team.

Thank for reading it,

Ken

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s