Ode To Joy
A week or so ago we all had the pleasure of seeing something truly rare – an explosion of pure Joy. We witnessed thousands of people wrapped in the arms of a Happiness that comes rarely in one’s lifetime. This moment was seeing the people of Chicago celebrating the victory of their Cubs, winning the National League Championship for the first time in 71 years.
Inside Wrigley Field the people of all ages were awash in the emotion as “Their team” won their passage to the World Series. Some people jumped up and down screaming their joy. Others sat quietly letting it all envelop them in a private moment.
For a span of time longer than my lifetime the most frequently spoken words in Chicago were, “Wait until next year.”
This is next year.
The last time the Cubs got this far was just weeks after the end of World War Two. The Cubs, with a team of players who were either too old or physically unfit for military service, lost to the Detroit Tigers in seven games.
The Cubs were managed by Charlie “Jolly Cholly” Grimm, a 20 year veteran player and manager who truly “Bled Cubbie Blue.” When he passed away in the 1980s he had his ashes spread over Wrigley Field.
It is a rare and special thing to see the faces of so many people sharing such a joyful moment. I found it very moving – and I’m not a Cubs fan.
It was the Cubs who skewered my hopes and dreams when they beat my SF Giants this year. But that’s over and done with. Now Chicago will be playing in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. I was born in Cleveland and lived there through some of the worst years of Indians baseball. Now my alliances are being stretched. I live within driving distance from Chicago – I lived in Cleveland – and my Giants are watching it all on TV.
There are still Cub fans who remember their last trip to the World Series, but I doubt that there are any still around who recall their last victory in the Fall Classic. It was in 1908 and they beat those same Detroit Tigers who would avenge themselves in 1945.
This year I can’t imagine what ticket prices will be. I bet that there are some Chicagoans who set up special bank accounts decades ago to save up enough to buy World Series tickets if, and when, the Cubs ever made a return trip to the Series. Tickets were already selling for thousands of dollars days before the first pitch.
In my head I’m rooting for the Cleveland Indians, but in my heart I want the Cubs to win it all. How could I not? After 108 years it would be cruel fate if the Cubs did not win. I’ll try to keep my cheering down to a quiet level. I’ll let the neighbors make all the noise.
Below is the link to the Cubs Victory Song. I would feel like a bit of a traitor to sing it myself, but if you feel the urge – sing along.