First off, let me assure you, no, you did not miss all of November. Though my column typically runs only on the first Wednesday of the month (and it did on Nov. 2) – you have not missed an entire month and this is NOT the first Wednesday in December. Yes, time flies, especially at this time of year and the ‘fall back’ time change this past weekend may have messed you up a little, but it is only Nov. 9.
So why the back-to-back columns? Because something happened between last week’s column and this that I just can’t pass up. Sorry if you all have been bombarded by too much ‘Cubs Win!’ chatter, but this is historic.
You all probably know by now my baseball heart beats for the San Francisco Giants and while they didn’t make it back to the World Series for some more even year magic in 2016, I am not at all unhappy with the winner. At the end of it all, I am a baseball fan and watching an epic extra inning, rain delayed, back and forth Game 7? It just doesn’t get any better.
After splitting the first two games in Cleveland and then dropping the next two at their home ball park in Chicago, it was amazing that the Cubs were a single game away from adding yet another year to their 108-year championship drought. But a resilient team, they got that all-important win (and the momentum) by winning their last game of the season at Wrigley to head back to Ohio down by a 3-2 count. I think what was the most remarkable and endearing to me was hearing all of Wrigley Field erupt in the ‘Go Cubs Go’ song and just keep singing it. The sheer love and pride those fans had for their boys in the pinstriped blue and white uniforms was undeniable. And to be honest, watching the Cubs, it never felt like they were ever down by a three games to one deficit. They didn’t change their game. They didn’t panic. They didn’t change anything; they just kept playing the way they did during the season. A regular season in which they won 103 games, best in the Majors. With a great mix of veterans and young but seasoned players, and the late addition of closer Aroldis Chapman to take over the bullpen, things seemed destined to fall into place.
The Indians haven’t won it all since 1948. For them; maybe next year. And it’s likely Manager Terry Francona went out and got another $44 worth of ice cream after the loss to melt away his sorrows.
It’s not like Cleveland did anything wrong, the Cubs just ultimately were the better team. And as much as, again, I would have loved being able to buy a 2016 World Series champion shirt with an SF somewhere on it, I can’t be upset when I know that the best team in the Major Leagues won the top prize. They earned it, they deserved it.
The telltale sign was coming out of a 17-minute rain delay with the deciding game tied headed to the 10th inning and the Cubs striking for the go ahead run and an insurance run. The insurance paid off and they got the 8-7 win. I’m sure I heard Harry Caray saying “Holy Cow, Cubs win! Cubs win!” and knew that somewhere, the iconic broadcaster was looking down, probably hoisting a cold one and toasting his beloved Cubbies.
World Series Champions for the first time in 108 years, congratulations to the City of Chicago, President of Baseball Operations Theo Esptein, Manager Joe Maddon (who I think I finally saw smile when the final out was recorded) and to the players on the field that made it all happen. My favorite memory? Watching 39-year-old retiring catcher David Ross hit a home run in the World Series in his final major league at bat and go out a champion.
From a baseball fan: Thank you, Cubs and Indians, for a true ‘Fall Classic.’
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.