Cubs Win!

(Editor's note: My friend Robin Stevenson is a Cubs fan. Not a bandwagon jumper, not a celebrity-watcher, but a fan who has from afar carried her share of the grief of more than a century—that now has vanished. Robin guest blogged at the beginning of the season and again at the All-Star break. I think she deserves some of the credit for the historic win. Here is her final post.) 


W


It has happened. Finally. The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions. They did it. We did it.

Grandfather Cecil Stevenson: the Cubs won in dramatic, epic style!

My first reaction was relief. That final out in the 10th inning meant no more bad things could happen.

Then it set in. What just happened was the best thing ever. My heart was pounding. I might have been in shock.

We busted some ghosts.

I have been cheering for the Cubs for most of my life. There have been some pretty bleak seasons in the 108 years the team has wandered in the baseball wilderness. You don't have to go back far for proof. The 2014 Cubs lost more than 100 games. This year, they won more than 100 games. They made the Fall Classic for the first time in 71 years. Last night, after 108 years of not winning the World Series, the curse was lifted. Score one for the baseball gods.

It was a special season, watching the Cubs' young stars never quit and learn what winning takes. 

The signs were there.

Lester and the boys of summer
I remember the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball national broadcast back on July 31. The Cubs were behind early, 6-0, against the Seattle Mariners. I admit: I pretty much wrote them off and went back to life. But I checked back in. They had scored a few runs and were closer. Things had gotten interesting. And then super interesting in the 7th inning when Cubs manager Joe Maddon went wizard. Wanting to keep his pitching options open, Maddon put Cubs relief pitcher Travis Wood into the game as left fielder. Cue Wood to make  a spectacular catch against the ivy! The Cubs tied the game in the 9th. In the 12th inning (I was watching non-stop at this point) Cubs ace Jon Lester, pulled into the game off the bench, laid down a perfect bunt to score the winning run. Wrigley went Wrigley nuts, and so did the team. Lester lost his jersey in the celebration. 

Yesterday's win was amazing, but I keep thinking about that game in the Friendly Confines on July 31. It was the game that showed the baseball world what Cubs fans already knew. This team would keep coming, they would not stop.

And so it was an October and November to never forget. So much fun. So much loyalty. Yes, rooting  for the Cubs is a generational thing. As the dry years wore on, hope became part of what made you a fan. In Chicago, for sure, but also in the Little Wrigleys in bars and homes and apartment suites all over the place.  Thank you, technology! When superstation WGN hit the air, it created Cubs fans everywhere. My dad and grandfather worked together and they watched afternoon games and that's how I became a fan.  

At the Ollie ball game!
I have been to Wrigley Field to soak in in person what it means to be a Cubs fan. But my life is far away from Chicago. So, thanks Twitter for allowing me to be with my Cubs family during this magical time. I have felt part of it.

I am proud of the Cubs, but let me tell you what makes me most proud. Through all of this, I have shared my love of baseball with a fine young man named Oliver. Now, I don’t know if my nine-year-old nephew will end up a Cubs fan or not, but he loves the game, and I have been able to pass along my knowledge to an eager student. Maybe one day it won't be so cool for him to hang out with his auntie and watch the Cubs. Maybe. Either way, the next generation of baseball fan is now on board.

Thanks, Cubs!



And thanks to Glenn who encouraged me to write three blog posts this season. It has been a real pleasure and opportunity for me. And thanks to my Dad, who called me last night to celebrate. He was so happy and was thinking of his dad. And, of course, to Kristi who has always gone on baseball adventures with me. - RST

Comments

  1. My first ever MLB game was at Wrigley Field, during the 1990 Blues Fest weekend. That was before I saw a BLue Jays' playoff game a year later in Toronto's sleek Skydome. Before I saw one of the last Expos' games in the cavernous Big Oh stadium.
    My Uncle Duke, the star pitcher of 1930s Edmonton, once pitched to the touring NY Yankees in the 1930s.
    I wrote my MA thesis on W.P. Kinsella's Hobbema stories, but I also love his baseball fiction.
    Baseball is all about story, and Wrigley's brick walls, giant hotdogs, and the curse, is as good as it gets.
    Thanks for your wonderful tale!

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    Replies
    1. I will pass your kind words to my friend at work! Cool.

      Delete

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