When I was just 7 years old, my Dad, of blessed memory, took me to my first Major League Baseball game. I will always remember climbing the ramp to the right field bleachers at old, now gone, Comiskey Park, and seeing the field for the first time looking like green velvet, I can still smell the freshly mowed grass. I remember the crack of the bat as Ted Williams hit a towering home run well over our heads and the despair at another White Sox loss. Ever since, I have been a White Sox fan, joy-filled at every victory, crestfallen with every loss.
The White Sox were a mediocrity then, as they are now, but I and many of my friends remained passionate and filled with hope each season. Many of us, me included, enjoyed a certain schadenfreude -- we were always assured that is the White Sox were downtrodden, the Cubs were even more so. Some of us, me included, got as much joy out of a Cubs loss as out of a Sox win. I still remember the immortal, snarling Leo Durocher joining the Cubs as Manager after a miserable season announcing: "This is not an 8th place team" and, sure enough the Cubs finished 10th that first year of Durocher's realm. There was the Cubs collapse in 1969 and often thereafter mainly attributed to a curse announced by one Billy Sianis when his pet goat was not allowed to join him at a game.
Then, the White Sox arose three times -- 1959 in a World Series loss, 1983 in a woeful playoff loss and then in the magnificent World Series win in 2005. Each time we thought "no more will we be the second team in a two team town" and each time the Sox lapsed back into untold mediocrity. And, now...
The Cubs are not only back in the World Series, they are as "lovable" as when they were "lovable losers." I, like all Chicagoans, have found joy in their victories and find myself rooting for them through each agonizing playoff game. This is great for the once-beleaguered Cubs fans; it's great for my City.
All I can yell is GO CUBS. All of Chicago is with you.