In 2004, the Boston Red Sox exorcised the dreaded “Curse of the Bambino” with their World Series championship. Their 4-0 sweep of the St Louis Cardinals seemed almost anticlimactic in the wake of their 4-3 ALCS triumph over their arch rival New York Yankees. The Sox did something never done in the history of Major League Baseball – rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a best of seven series.
The other Sox, the Chicago White Sox that is, won it all the following season in 2005. That broke an 88-year drought when manager Pants Rowland led the pale hose to a World Series championship in 1917. From the “Black Sox” scandal in 1919 to “Disco Demolition Night” in 1979, Chicago’s south siders have seen some bizarre things happen on and off the diamond in between championship seasons.
But all that pales in comparison to the plight of Chi-town’s north siders.
In Cubbie land, certain one or two word phrases are all that's required to convey decades of heartache and frustration.
Yes, it has been almost an entire century since the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series. It was 1908 when the Cubbies last claimed the title as baseball’s best.
Could the 21st century prove to be as kind to the Cubs as it has been to a pair of Sox? On June 21, the Cubs were 32-39, 8 ½ games out of first place in the NL Central and in utter disarray. But in just over five weeks since, the Cubbies have gone 25-11 and are now percentage points ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for first in the NL Central.
So if my Twins can’t make a go of it this season, I am officially jumping on the Cubs bandwagon!
It’s not that I’m brand new to Cubdom. I actually had the privilege of attending a couple of games in historic Wrigley Field once upon a time. It was Labor Day weekend back in 1993 when my buddy Skip and I indulged in the Saturday and Sunday afternoon games.
I may have to break out that Cubs jersey this Fall!!
Given that I haven’t worn it in fourteen years I’ll be lucky if I could fit one arm in it.