This is the final part of a series. You can start at the beginning here
I actually never thought I’d see the day.
The experience of this year’s baseball season for an old Cubs fan like me was nothing short of magical. And my lifelong quest to be at Wrigley for every postseason game in my lifetime has been completed. It couldn’t have ended on a higher note. I feel fulfilled. I was there when it happened.
This victory is so very sweet. This is for Ernie Banks and Ron Santo and Harry Carey and Steve Goodman and the millions of other fans and players who never got to see this day. It’s for every underdog in every pursuit. It’s for everyone who loves baseball, still the most beautiful, most storybook of all sports.
The emotional baggage that all Cubs fans carry around is no more. I feel free to allow my repressed skepticism free reign. Baseball is big business, and the Cubs are no exception. The Ricketts family may have done miracles by hiring the right people, but they have a horrifying side to them that until now I’ve chosen to ignore. I will remain a fan, but I feel released.
My experience in this postseason was also about the journey. Along the way, in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and finally Cleveland, I met so many wonderful people, in many cases fans of the opposing teams, who were kind, respectful and knowledgeable of the game. I met a few assholes too, but they were exceptions.
I saw new ballparks, visited parts of town I’d never been before, visited cultural institutions I might not have gone to otherwise, sampled local cuisines. It was all part of the experience.
I had many friends who helped me get tickets, put me up in their homes, drove me around, etc. I owe them all a huge thanks.
I have to acknowledge my many social media friends, who supported me emotionally along the way. You made me feel like I was in some kind of bizarre reality show, where you were with me the whole way. I was moved by how many of you told me you had no interest in baseball, but were following the Cubs because of my passion. At various points, when things were looking up or looking bad, your messages made my day. And the day the Cubs won it all, you all made me feel like I had something to do with it.
I want to thank my Cubs buddies Richie, Jessica, John, who shared parts of the experience with me, and are as crazy as I am.
Finally, I want to thank my wife for putting up with this nonsense for all these years. I promised her that if the Cubs went all the way, the quest would be over. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive partner.
It happened. What now?
Now I will retreat into normal fandom. No more pressure to be there for the entire post-season. I can go to games when the opportunity arises.
The Cubs are World Series Champions. It sounds funny to say it out loud. I know I didn’t dream it because I have a hat that says it. This was the year.
Now let’s elect a woman President!