Sunday, October 23, 2016


It's the Cubs versus the Indians in the World Series.

It seems odd writing this on Sunday. Sunday is the day of pro football, the NFL, and a lot of the country has moved on from baseball.

But not me.

My first organized sport was baseball, I was a pitcher. I loved the uniform, loved the smell of gloves in the sports departments. Loved the game. Still do.

I was ten.

Younger fans these days tend to lean towards football and basketball, what with fantasy leagues in football and the stars in basketball. Let's not forget those sports move quickly and you can read a book while watching baseball.

Don't care.

In my bathroom right now is the Baseball Encyclopedia. I pick it up and leaf through it all the time.   I was not very good at math growing up but I know my baseball stats. Home runs, earned run averages, runs batted in, pitcher's wins, pitcher's strikeouts, batting averages, doubles. The names Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Derek Jeter, Bob Gibson, the Babe, Ted Williams, Mariano Rivera, Warren Spahn, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, all speak to me. There are more and each one has a story.

And speaking of stories, both of the final two teams have great ones.

Let's start with the Indians.

They haven't won the Series since 1948, back in the day of Bob Feller. There used to be a joke about their stadium, the mistake by the lake. Another joke about how there were more people on the field than in the stands.

They're not laughing anymore.

After beating everybody, they trounced the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays in the playoffs. They have a great team and one of my favorite managers, Terry Francona. Terry has already won two World Series, he did that with the Sawx. He was Manager of The Year with the Indians. In other words he has them believing they can win.

This has also been a magical year for Cleveland. Everyone who knows me, knows I'm a LeBron boy and just in case you've been Rip Van Winkle, the Cavaliers won the NBA championship.

They were down 3-1. First championship ever. Just magical.

So like LeBron says, like Cleveland says, it's the Indians' turn.

But not so fast.

Okay, the Cubs.

They haven't won the World Series since 1908. That's.over.a.hundred.years.ago. They haven't even been in the Series since 1945.

Well, this year is different. They won more games than anybody, they also have a great team, and also have one of my favorite managers, Joe Maddon. I only have two. He's won Manager of The Year, count them, three times.

There's also a side story.

The guy who engineered Boston's Series win, after what seemed like a forever of coming close, is the guy who put together this Cubs team. His name is Theo Epstein and if he can make lightning strike twice...

I used to work and live in Chicago, I always have an eye on that town. So, here I am watching all their playoff games, they begin at eight and end right around midnight. I wake up with bloodshot eyes and am beat all day thinking I'm too old for this.

A guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.

Either way, history is going to be made.

When the Red Sox won, there were parents and grandparents finally letting go of life. They were hanging on in the hope, the hope, that their team could climb that mountain and be World Champions.

I'll bet there were smiles on faces in caskets all over Bean Town after that win.

Same thing for fans of both of these teams.

But I'm rooting for the Cubs.

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