I have friends who always count the days till spring training begins. Now that it’s underway, their thoughts are moving on to their teams’ post-season chances. I’m not a big baseball fan myself, but I appreciate the game’s storied place in American culture.
"Please stand and take off your hats for the singing of 'God
Bless America.'" That's how the announcer introduced the seventh inning stretch
at a recent Minnesota Twins game I attended. Minnesotans are nothing if not
rule followers, so we stood, many took off their hats, and some even joined in
When a Los Angeles Dodger hit a grand-slam home run off of the Cubs’ most reliable pitcher in the first game of the National League division series, a great silence descended on Wrigley Field. I was there, one of 42,000 faithful who thought this might be the year our team would go all the way.
In fifth grade my Little League baseball team lost its first five games. Our coach quit. We got a new coach, a 16-year-old named Don Crosby. Don was a great player and should have been on the high school team, but he hadn’t passed enough classes to be eligible. Today he’d probably be diagnosed as having a learning disability, but back then he was just plain out of luck. Don was only four or five years older than we were, but he easily established his authority with us. He made us run lots of laps around the swing set at the far end of the school yard. He told us we were not to talk when he was talking, and when we answered him, we were to say “Yes sir” and “No sir.”
The Chicago Cubs have done it again. After winning the National League’s central division, they were swept aside by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 and have not even appeared in one since 1945. Cubs fans are the brunt of bad jokes. We learn to respond by quoting St.
For those of us who measure time not only by the liturgical calendar but by the baseball season, fall is a time to reflect on what happened or did not happen. It is a painful time once again for those of us who invest ourselves in the fortunes of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have not been in the World Series since 1945 and haven’t won a World Championship since 1908.