The late Steve Goodman with his tune about being a Cubs fan for the past century or so.
Goodman was best known for writing “City of New Orleans.” Arlo Guthrie turned that into a major hit in the early 70s. Goodman was from Chicago and loved his Cubs. When he wrote this song he had the leukemia that would eventually end his life at 36. Goodman also wrote the now iconic theme song for the Cubs “Go, Cubs, Go.”
When I heard the Cubs had won I thought of all my friends and relatives who have suffered through some of the worst baseball ever seen since the Cubs last championship. I thought of our family’s trips to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs lose. One of the biggest thrills in my late father’s life was to see Ken Holtzman no hit the Atlanta Braves (including a man named Henry Aaron) one August afternoon.
Sitting in blistering heat, sitting in wind swept cold, sitting behind one of the ancient poles in the old ballpark. We pretty much ran the gamut of Cub fan experiences. But no championships.
Most of my memories of the Cubs come from the pre-Harry Carey days. Before the Cubs were bought by the Tribune Company and they started putting real money and effort into the team. Before the Tribune the Cubs were owned by the Wrigley family. This was the chewing gum Wrigleys. While they made pretty good gum, they seemed inept in running a baseball team.
Who can forget one of the strangest experiments ever conducted in baseball – the “College Of Coaches.” In looking this little episode up I was surprised to find that the college of coaches lasted 4 years, not the one year that stuck in my mind. If you are not familiar with this experiment, owner P.K. Wrigley had no manager for the Cubs. Instead a group of coaches rotated in and out of the job. This lead to chaos. Wikipedia has a good explanation of what happened here.
The Cubs victory and the stirring series that they played with Cleveland was a nice respite from what has been an election season that will go down in history. Here is hoping for another Chicago area product to win. That Chicago area product was a classmate of Steve Goodman’s – Hillary Rodham Clinton. – May she score the first victory for the female team.
Hey, Ernie! (Banks) Let’s win 2 this week!