Recovery run today, I was thinking about the Cubs.
JPD is a Chicago White Sox fan. I can remember very early in my life going to see a White Sox game at Comiskey Park. I will never forget the feeling as I came up a tunnel to the seating area and seeing the largest field of green that I had ever laid eyes on. It must have been early spring and the green was in stark contrast to the dirty gray to black snow that I had been playing in for the previous four months. Baseball is as important to those on the South Side as it is to those on the North Side of the city of Chicago. When I was young, I was not allowed to go to White Sox games with my friends because the Sox had lights and played at night. Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs was a different story. Wrigley had no lights, they had donated the steel framework to the war effort and never replaced them. As a result, all the games were played during the day. Because they played day games and we lived a quick ride away on the Chicago Northwestern train line, we were allowed to go to the games on our own as early as 10 years old. Special games were still the ones that JPD and Dr. S. would take us to in Comiskey Park at night. Traveling to Comiskey for a night game seemed much more sophisticated to me, like we were going to the theatre or a symphony. Day games at Wrigley felt like we were merely being allowed to travel to the park. Both the Cubs and the White Sox struggled to win when I was young, but I saw many more Cub games than White Sox games in my developing years.
As the month of August turns to September, we are in a familiar place. The Sox are six games out of a wild card spot and the Cubs are playing well, firmly entrenched for the last wild card spot. The last World Series in Chicago was won by the South Siders so I refuse to be arrogant (really? Not!). With September and October right around the corner, the Sox fans are wondering what entertainment we might have in store. Will it be the cursed Billy Goat, Steve Bartman, the Miracle Mets or some other highly entertaining finger-pointing? The reality is that, and Cub fans don’t even acknowledge this point, the whole city will be rooting for the Cubs; including the fans on the South Side (they won’t admit it either). JPD would lead the parade if the Cubs could bring home the final W.
n.b. I wrote this one day before I read the August 31, 2015 Rich Cohen article in Sports Illustrated. “Wrigley Healed” Wow, the drumbeat begins early this time around. What a great writer, highly recommended for further reading.
My ride arrives after a particularly grueling run. Favorite song today: The Lady is a Tramp performed by Frank Sinatra (and a great horn section).