BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Baseball has been berry berry bad* ...

I've been a Cubs fan for a long time. In fact, for about a decade, I was a season ticket holder, first on the weekend package, and then the weekend-and-nights package once they got the lights in at Wrigley. When I first got my tickets, they were $5 a pop - making two seats for two days on a weekend a whopping $20 ... such a deal! I'm not sure exactly what the years were, but I got them as early as the 1986 season (after I quit drinking - I could never afford it when I was drinking ... those ballpark beers are expensive, and I'd have one per inning back in the day), and certainly before 1988 when the lights went in, and had them as late as 1996, as I used to bring Daughter #1 out with me in her car seat when she was a baby, and she was born in late 1995 (I'm pretty sure 1996 would have been my last year ... getting married messed up my Cubs deal, as not only - once the girlfriend became The Wife she strangely suddenly lost all interest in going to Wrigley - did I not have a "date", but all my old {drinking} buddies had been run off as well).

I find myself studiously keeping at "arm's length" from the current post-season run (I've said "I'll believe it after the last out of the last game of the World Series"!), having had my heart broken so many times by the Cubs ... and I keep hearing myself saying "well, at least they've won one more game than they did in the last NLCS" - which I sure hope isn't "prophetic".

The thing with the Cubs is that their hopelessness is generational, heck, the last time they were in the World Series was over 70 years ago ... and it's been 108 years since they won (I'm guessing that there are no still breathing Cubs fans who were around for that). I moved back to Chicago in 3rd Grade, just in time to switch my budding baseball loyalties from the Mets to the Cubs, and have 1969 happen a year later (when the Cubs, who had been leading all year, had a massive collapse in September and lost the division to the Mets). I was like 12 years old at the time and had been collecting "all things Cubs" all summer (I'd be that kid who would be breathlessly waiting for the next "poster" in the sports pages of the Trib), and their failing to make the playoffs hit me hard. Heck, it probably warped me for life, as I always expect things to "go to hell in a handbasket" no matter how good they might seem at any given time.

Anyway, given my long history with the Cubs, I find it sad that my prime emotional reaction is something like out of the opening of Springsteen's Born In The USA lyrics:

Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up
... come to think of it, as far as the World Series is concerned this is pretty much (that team on the south side doesn't count - I was one of those really wishing they'd have moved to Florida) "a dead man's town" ... and my "hitting the ground" was 1969. So, on an emotional basis, I'm wondering when the Baseball Gods are going to start kicking me in the ribs again.

Just thought I'd share ...

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* with apologies to Chico Escuela
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