The Chicago Cubs picked one hell of a way to end their 108-year-old World Series drought. 

Two years ago, the Cubs visited Toronto for a three-game series and were soundly swept by the Blue Jays. I was at one of those matches and watched Chicago get completely out-played. Drew Hutchison led the way, while the offence came from several sources. As I left the stadium that night, it never occurred to me that the Cubs would be at the top of the mountain in a mere 24 months. 

Since the final out was recorded, I’ve been thinking about Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Harry Caray. I’ve been thinking about all the Cub fans who lived thier entire lives without ever seeing them win the World Series. I’ve been thinking about all the former Cub players who are still with us; players like Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood. I’ve been thinking about Steve Bartman and wondering if this championship brought him some closure and inner peace.

I’m fortunate to have watched some of my favourite teams – including the Jays – win championships. It’s impossible to fathom what cheering for a team that has been known as “the loveable losers” feels like. For generations of Cub fans, baseball is clearly more than just stats and standings. 

There are a few things I will recall when looking back at the 2016 World Series. There’s David Ross who couldn’t have picked a better way to retire. In addition, I will never forget the images of people honouring their deceased relatives who were Cub fans. Whether it was writing messages on the walls of Wrigley Field or visiting cemeteries, these acts re-defined passion and what baseball means to people. Never forget the man who sat next to his father’s tombstone and listened to game 7, fulfilling a promise made years ago. 

That’s powerful. 

So congrats to the Cubs and thier fans! I sincerely hope you all continue to savour this great victory. And an extra congrats to these former Blue Jay players on Chicago’s roster and coaching staff: Muninori Kawasaki, Henry Blanco, Eric Hinske and Dave Martinez. 

It has to be nice knowing there’s no longer a need to wait until next year. 

ER


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