World Series wager?

Just what it says....
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Not a potted meat guy...
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Re: World Series wager?

Post by kurtdesign1 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:02 pm

star644 wrote:I've waited 64 years for this. Go Cubbies.
World Champions.
I remember my parents taking us to games and watching Ernie Banks play at Wrigley (before lights) when I was a kid. Then taking my son to Cub games.
Me and the missus were at Wrigley in July for a game.
(we live halfway between Chicago and Iowa)
History has been made. I CAN'T SLEEP!!!
I grew up with the cubs. As you point out, there were no lights until two-thirds of the way through the 1988 season. I used to come home from school, turn on the Cubs on WGN, eat a snack and do my homework. This was every day. 81 games at Wrigley every year. 81 games starting at 1:20. It was clockwork and it became a part of the fabric of my childhood. It became a part of me.

There's a line in Field of Dreams when Ray Kinsella (Kostner's character) is talking about his dad's adoration of baseball. He implies the enormity of the love by talking about how his father "Died a little when [the sox] lost the 1919 World Series. Died a lot the following summer when eight members of the team were accused of throwing that series."
It is absolutely true. Baseball becomes a part of you that, when broken, feels like a part of you has died. Like so many other Cubs' fans I felt broken, dozens of times.

Some of those first memories we have as a child which really don't have a specific time related to them are sports related for me. I remembe seeing Ditka carried of the field after the 85 Super Bowl. I remember my mom being devistated after Leon Durham let the ground ball go under his glove allowing the cubs to eventually lose the 84 pennant to the Padres (this series is heartbreakingly Cubs-ish, if you look into it. So much that went the other way). I start having crisp, time-defined memories with the cubs around 86 or 87. I remember signing Dawson for a $1m contract and him being the MVP in every way, of the 1987 season, despite being on the last place team. I remember the first night game on 8/8/1988 being canceled due to rain! I remember the 'Ryan Sandberg Game' when he hit two home runs in the 9th and Extras to come from behind and beat Bruce Suter and the Cardinals. I remember Ryno's 89 season when he led the league in home runs as a 2nd baseman and had unbelievable chemistry with this young infielder named Grace. I remember it all.

I also remember what it felt like to die a bit in '89 when the cubs lost to the Giants in the NLCS. I was at the game in August when the cubs were down 9-0 in the 9th and came back to win. Dwight Smith hit a late game single to drive in the winning run. I remember specifically because I was young and had to go to the bathroom... right before that moment. I couldn't hold it any longer. BUT(!), I'll never forget the sound of Harry Carry being broadcast over the speakers. Priceless.

If I died a little when they lost in 89, I died a lot when they lost in 2003. I was 22, I loved the cubs and I had convinced myself that they were going to the world series. The team imploded, they blew countless chances and leads and the rest is history. Man, that hurt. I am not usually an "all in" kind of guy. I hold back until the moment of clarity, just in case, I guess. My dad is calm and I get that optimistic caution from him. The reason 03 hurt so badly was because of my sister. It was the night of game 5 and the cubs had just hit a home run to win the game (well, seal the victory). I was at a wedding where my sister (who may or may not have had a few cocktails) turned to me, with tears in her eyes, and said "we're going to the world series!"
It wasn't until that moment that I went all in on the cubs. They were up 3 games to 2 over the Florida Marlins, had Prior and Wood to pitch game 6 and 7, were at home and were the hottest team in baseball. Well, them and the A's, If I remember correctly. Then the foul ball and blown double play. I died a little that game. I died a lot after game 7 when they blew a 3 run lead and lost at home. Again.

2007 and 2008 were fun years. Lou Pinella was the Cubs manager. The players were incredibly likable. They had 6 or 7 AllStars from those teams as well. Now, I got married and was out of the country on my honeymoon for the 2007 playoff losses. Those weren't too bad. 2008 was bad. I was home, watching every game. I had brought my wife into the fray and felt an odd sense of responsibility to her for the pain of those losses. It was sobering. Not only did I hurt, I, in a weird way, had made someone else hurt. I died a little in 07 when they were swept in the NLDS. I died a lot in 08 when they were swept again.

The Pinella era went downhill from there. Eventually, he left the team during the '10 season and it was a free-fall. They proceeded to hit rock bottom. A new owner came in from a crazy right-wing family. He was hard to get used to but he seemed as if he felt our pain. Management was shaken up with reorganization and new, well known, blood. But I had seen this before. When the Tribune company sold to Sam Zell, the culture was "going to change". It didn't. When Zell sold to Ricketts the culture "was going to change". I wasn't so sure I believed them again.

I was angry. Angry that I was starting a new family and knew I wouldn't be able to resist passing along the love to my son. Angry that I felt that love would give him pain. Angry that they were starting over, again. The Cubs had started over every year for over a century at that point. I just didn't know if I had it in me to believe them again. Fall came around this year and I started WANTING to believe again.

It took time but September was a fun month. By the time the Giants' series was here I was partially invested. Dodgers, mostly. Indians: yes. By last night I was excited. By the 7th inning I was nervous. By the 10th, well, I was emotional. The cubs won. I never really thought I'd see the day. I'm absolutely still emotionally raw and in disbelief. Could you enjoy the players on a team more? Everyone but Chapman seems like a genuinely good human being. Rizzo seems 2nd to none in the class department and Zobrist was a smart veteran pickup who fits perfectly. Bryant is invested, Baez is emotional, Hendricks is committed and I'm soaking it all in.

I'm a lucky fan. And a happy human.

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Re: World Series wager?

Post by f.sinagra » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:09 pm

kurtdesign1 wrote:
star644 wrote: Everyone but Chapman seems like a genuinely good human being.
I literally LOL'ed! Image

Great piece writing, Craig! Image

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Maybe it's like becoming one with the cigar. You lose yourself in it; everything fades away: your worries, your problems, your thoughts. They fade into the smoke, and the cigar and you are at peace. - Raul Julia

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