My 96-year-old father is a lifelong Cubs fan, although in recent years he hasn’t seemed fired up about the Cubs or the Bears, Bulls, Illini, or Notre Dame — the teams he traditionally followed — but he keeps watching them.
So, even as I wanted him to see the Cubs win the World Series, I wasn’t sure how much it really mattered to him. Until I called on Thursday morning.
He was watching a replay of Game 7 then. I mentioned that I'd been so nervous, I had to walk away from the TV as the 10th inning began and so hadn’t realized the Cubs had gone ahead until the score was already 8-6. He proceeded to give me a play-by-play of the top of the 10th, his voice sounding more excited with every at bat. Schwarber’s pinch-hit single to start the inning, Cleveland deciding whether to pitch to Rizzo, Zobrist’s double that drove in a run, Montero’s singling in another run.
Then, tamping down his emotion, he said he was glad for the city. Chicago needs a boost. And he hoped I’d be able to go to the parade and rally, living so close. (I already had other plans.)
He watched every minute of the celebration from his La-Z-Boy in what he calls the reading room.
Even as I was happy for my dad, I thought about my brother-in-law Bob’s cousin Barb in Ohio. She’s become a friend of my sister Nancy, who travels to Ohio once a month on business. Nancy has dinner with Barb and her husband, Jon, when she’s there.
Barb has a brain tumor that her doctors say they can’t treat anymore. The last time she and Jon got together with Nancy, in late October, Barb talked about the fun she’d had when the family went to one of the American League Championship games to cheer on the Indians.
For Barb, there is no wait till next year.
Barb’s brother Greg, Bob’s childhood playmate, died 2½ years ago of the same type of brain tumor. Their parents are both still living.
In a post a few weeks ago I said that I wouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars to see Hamilton or anything else. I argued that nothing was a must see.
At the time I wasn’t thinking about sports. Now I'm willing to concede that for Cubs fans, a ticket to a World Series game was priceless.
Filed under: Chicago