As soon as the Cubs won the pennant Saturday night, punching their ticket to the World Series, I called my grandpa. Born and raised on the north side of Chicago my grandpa has been a loyal Cubs fan for more than 80 years. I covered the Cubs during my time with CBS Sports Chicago, so naturally I had become a fan; but my fandom pales in comparison to my grandpa’s love for the “Northsiders.”
I dialed the house number and before he could finish saying hello I yelled, “How ‘bout them Cubbies?” and immediately I could hear him start to get emotional.
“I remember well the last time the Cubs were in the World Series,” he said. “It was October 1945, and they were facing the Detroit Tigers. World War II had just ended. As a then-Cicero teenager, I got with several of my friends so we could put our money together to buy bleacher tickets to a Sunday afternoon game, just after fans had entered the Saturday game. That long autumn night and the events of that Sunday game have lingered in my memory for 71 long years. I've seen it all ... the good and the bad!”
For my grandpa and countless other Chicago natives this is more than baseball to them; rooting for the Chicago Cubs is a way of life. So, congrats to the Cubbies on a great season. You have won more than 100 games for the first time in more than 100 years. Your team deserves this moment, this recognition; honestly you deserve the whole thing, so enjoy the ride and everything that comes along with making it to the World Series, but whatever you do don’t forget about the old guys like my grandpa Willie, because long before you were a member of the Cubs he was rooting for you.
Megan Huston is the sports editor at The Meteor. She can be reached at (936) 348-3505 or firstname.lastname@example.org