As you may or may not know I am a lifelong baseball fan. I played it long before I ever hit a softball(that’s what they let girls play when I was a kid). There is something very pure about the sport of baseball. When you are batting you look your opponent in the eye and then with the quickness of a panther you try to hit what is delivered fastball, curve ball, fork they all come at you at different speeds in the big leagues those speeds are over 100 miles an hour and somehow a batter connects and is able to control with a wooden stick how and wear that ball goes. A bunt, a grounder, blooper to the out field and the home run.
It is a thing of beauty to hear the crack of a bat and then to see the team on the field go into motion moving as one to cover a bag ,to back up your teammate to complete and out or to try again. You do this for nine innings while the fans watch.
Is it the fastest sport? Nope Is it the most physical sport? Nope Do I think it is the most beautiful sport? Yep. A day at the ball park for me meant hanging out with my Dad. It meant watching the Minnesota Twins knowing the line up and loving the players. I grew up having them be losers. I would sit in the outfield and so few people would show up Kirby Puckett himself would thank us for coming to the game. Then in 1987 that all changed they became winners and again in 1991. I grew up moved to Chicago and started after the Cubs. I hated the White Sox before I came to town so my only choice was the Cubs. It was easy the guys on the team were fun they had an amazing park and I set my sites on going to as many games as I could. That was over 25 years ago now and they were losers. I mean seriously they had curses and all but I loved them and everything that went with them. I could probably buy a nice new car with all the money I spent on Cubs tickets and hot dogs. I would not have changed a thing. One of the last things I did before I moved was to go to a Cubs game.
I did not have it in me to follow another losing baseball team. I would never cheer for the Cincinnati Reds. Have never cared for them. I liked the Indians they were the Cubs just in a different state and if you love Baseball you love the movie Major League so yeah I could have made them my new team but that was not going to happen until the Cubs became winners I could only have one losing team in my life at a time. Remember I am still a long-suffering Vikings fan. So the old adage “there is always next year” is something I repeat often.
Then 2016 comes along and all of a sudden it is October and The Cubs are playing in the NLCS and low and behold they win it they win the damn Pennant. They are going to the World Series for the first time in 71 years and here I am living in Ohio where one of the other teams who says “there is always next year” resides and wouldn’t you know it We are meeting in the fall classic.
I wish I could hate on the Indians and their fans but I just can’t. In this time of hate where we somehow can not manage to be civil to each other about anything from our politics to our religion. I am thrilled for the Cleveland Indians and their fans. I know how they feel I know the pain when you have to say with a smile “there is always next year”. I want the Cubs to win this with every fiber of my being. I want Wrigley Field to fly the W all winter long, but if the Indians win “there is always next year” will I be sad sure but no tears will be shed because one of these teams will bring long earned and immense joy to their fans.
Over the course of the series I am going to share some memories about baseball, Chicago and Introduce you to some food Classics from both Cleveland and Chicago. but today I will leave you with…….. Man this is baseball you gotta stop thinking!Just have fun~The Sandlot