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Posts Tagged ‘winning’

I’m a baseball fan – more specifically, I’m a Chicago Cubs baseball fan. And today is Opening Day.

If you are not a sports fan, especially of a team who used to be perennial losers, you may not understand the significance of Opening Day. Let me give you a little insight…

Up until 2015, the Chicago Cubs were known as the lovable losers…maybe not to their fans, but certainly to fans of our rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. No, I take that back. To Cardinal fans, the Cubs were just plain losers.

Every year around mid to late May, most Cubs fans realized that once again, their favorite team would not be winning their division, maybe even finishing in last place…again. The catch phrase – “Wait ’til next year” – was our cry. Hope springs eternal in the hearts of life long Cub fans. And every year, we were disappointed. Oh yes – we had our moments…1984, 1989, 1998, 2003, 2007 and 2008…always giving us a taste of what could be. But always, other teams played better in those final crucial games…and we went home earlier than we would like.

But in 2015, the tide turned. Our lowly team, with fresh young faces, started winning, unexpectedly defeating other teams who were considered “better” or “more talented.” But you can’t measure heart, and those young guys didn’t know anything about Cubs history, or the lovable losers tag, or that the Cubs weren’t supposed to win. They didn’t make it to the World Series that year, but now their die hard fans were excited. Could “wait ’til next year” actually be accurate this time?

Yes – it was. 2016 was the year of the Cubs. We won right out of the gate…played well all year, and defeated the Giants and Dodgers to make it to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs hadn’t been to the Series since 1945 – 71 years! Books have been written about this team and this series. The Cubs defeated the Indians in seven games, with more drama than a “This Is Us” episode.

The World Series trophy came to Cedar Rapids – couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see it

My Cardinal-loving son came to watch that last game at our house…”To watch you watch your team win the World Series.”  He’s such a great guy – he knew how much this meant to me and even though his team was out of it, he wanted to be a part of celebrating with me. That 7th game was a nail biter…can’t even watch a replay now without getting nervous.

Chicago trip 006

Enjoyed a win at Wrigley in August 2018 with sister, niece and son – my first night game.

My Cub-loving son was out of town, but we connected via texts…he was watching in Ames, and me on my couch. Nothing binds people together like sports and the mutual love of a team. It’s part of why I love Opening Day. Everything is fresh, hope is bright, we’re all starting from the same 0-0 score. The long season stretches before us – with promises of close games and blow outs, diving catches and wall-climbing grabs, monstrous home runs, and swinging bunt singles, sweeping tags and stolen bases.

Hello, Opening Day! Go Cubs!

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