People told me this day would come. I cautiously believed them. When the Cubs hired Joe Maddon back in 2014, I cried. I knew it was a huge step in the right direction. 2015 was a magical season. The Cubs blew everyone’s expectations–even mine. I thought they had a real chance last year, but it all came to an end with a bitter sweep to the New York Mets. The arrow was pointing up though.
The 2016 season started out with record breaking wins, runs, pitching performances, and defense. It felt as if they would win 150 games. Then June came, and had even hard core fans questioning this team. They righted the ship just before the All-Star break. After the break, they continued on methodically winning until they racked up 103 victories.
The National League Division Series started pretty good, but it was not without drama. The Cubs had to come back and rally to win, and finally put the series to bed vs the San Francisco Giants.
When the Cubs were down 2-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was a real test of faith, and fortitude for fans, and maybe players. The pivotal game–game 4, the Cubs found their offense. They even up the series at 2-2 and didn’t look back.
Tonight, I battled tears the entire game, starting in the second inning when the Cubs went up 3-0. It was hard not to think about the future, and of friends lost, who are not here to share in the excitement. I’m sure my story is not unique.
I’ve been fortunate enough to see the Bears as Super Bowl champions, the Bulls as 6-time NBA Champions, the White Sox as World Series champions, and the Blackhawks as 3-time Stanley Cup champions. The Cubs championship has eluded them since 1908, so I am very much not alone in missing out on that one. As I said at the top, the last time they were even in a series was 1945–71 years ago. I have always hoped they would get back, but since I, like many, have had our hearts ripped out, I never thought it would really happen. I never knew exactly how I would react. I knew there would be tears. I didn’t think they would start in inning 2, of game 6 in the NLCS. The Cubs got up, and never looked back.
The Dodgers were a tough opponent. Kershaw is a stud pitcher. He’s been battling injuries all year and gave all he could. I rooted for them back in 1988 vs the Oakland Athletics. I hope their fans will now root for my Cubs. The Dodgers are a classy organization, one of the best in baseball. They will no doubt be back in the series in the near future. The Cubs have a challenging task ahead. The Cleveland Indians have home-field advantage and are well rested. I have seen what many have not–the Cubs getting back to a world series. I am okay with what happens from here on out.