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Wednesday, October 07, 2015
CHICAGO CUBS VS. PITTSBURGH PIRATES .....
THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN .........................
On October 21, 2015, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, (over a team from Miami), according to the movie Back To The Future, Part Deux.
If you were a fan of the BTTF trilogy of movies then you remember Marty McFly traveling into the future, to the year 2015, and seeing a hologram that informed him that the Cubs had just won the World Series by sweeping Miami, with Old Terry wishing he had "put some money on the Cubbies."
For those of you not in the know, the last time the Cubs actually won the World Series was 1908. They did appear in the Fall Classic in 1945, but the "Curse of the Billy Goat" ensured that they would not win that World Series or any thereafter. That happened when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Simms was asked to leave a World Series game against the Detroit Tigers at the Cubs' home ballpark of Wrigley Field because his pet goat's odor was bothering other fans. He was outraged and declared, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more". In fact, the Cubs have not won a National League pennant since that incident and they have not won the World Series in 107 years.
In 2003, they did come close to returning to the World Series when the Cubs played our own Florida Marlins in the NLCS. With the Cubs leading 3-2 in the series and 3-0 in the eighth inning of game six, they were only five outs away from returning to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945. That was until Steve Bartman got in the way of left-fielder Moises Alou, preventing him from catching a foul ball, and what would have been the second out of the inning. The Marlins went on to score eight runs in the inning, winning the game 8-3, and then won game seven, eliminating the Cubs once again from appearing in the World Series. (The Marlins went on to defeat the Yankees in six games to capture the title).
Standing in the way of the Cubbies, tonight, is the team from Pittsburgh. The Pirates, affectionately known as the Bucs, have a much more storied history of winning in October. They have won five WS titles, but they have not been back to the World Series since 1979. They did win two titles in the 70s, first in 1971 and then again in 1979. Their most famous WS victory though came in 1960 when they defeated the perennial powerhouse Yankees in seven games when Bill Mazeroski hit a ninth inning home run, winning the game, 10-9, and winning the Bucs their third WS Championship, and first since 1925.
On Thursday morning, if you are walking through the Gerstein Justice Building, and the Cubbies won the game, don't even think of saying hello to the Justice Building's number one Pirates fan, Phil Reizenstein. On the other hand, if the Bucs do win, then do not, under any circumstances, go anywhere near the courtroom of the number one Cubs fan this side of Chicago, Judge Milton Hirsch.
We invited both of them to add a paragraph describing the love they have for their team. Here is what each had to say:
"Being a Pirate fan is something in your blood. My dad was raised in Pittsburgh and I grew up hearing the legend of Mazeroski's home run. (The anniversary of which is next a Tuesday at 336 pm). Then in 1971 I had my own Pirate moment. My team made it to the the world series. My grandfather had tickets and I went to all three home world series games including the first night world series game. This was Roberto Clemente's series where he showed the world that he was among the greats of the game. He hit a home run in game seven and hit safely in all 14 world series games he played it. Then in 1979 we had the year of the city of Champions. The Steelers won their fourth super bowl and Willie Stargell hit a McCuellar hanging curve ball for the winning home run in game seven. The dark years of the 1990's followed when it became impossible for the Bucs to compete financially. Now a resurgence. And with the Pirate's resurgence a middle aged man has found his youth again. Maybe I am being a bit over dramatic. But then, I never fail to cry at the end of Field of Dreams when Kevin Cosner says "wanna have a catch dad?". No matter what happens Wednesday it's been a great season. So as we say in the steel city of Champions "Let's go Bucs!!"
"I am eternally grateful for being a Pirate fan. I'm sure Milt will have a long explanation of how it feels to root for a loser. Unfortunately I predict his misery will continue. Phil."
"It was 1908, and the Cubs were a dynasty, and Bert Spector was ten years old.
(Give me a minute. I’m staring longingly at what I’ve just written.)
It was 1908, and the Cubs were Tinker to Evers to Chance in the infield, and Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown on the mound. Bert Spector, whom I would come to know half a century later as my great-uncle on my mother’s side, was a kid of ten.
Wrigley Field would not be built for another half-a-dozen years, and the Cubs would not play there for two years after that. The 1908 World Series champions played at the old West Side Ballpark on Paulina Street. There were no professional grounds-crews in those days; armies of eager kids would flock to the ballpark early every morning, each to be handed a large garbage bag and a sharp stick. Any kid who filled his bag with refuse from the playing field and the stands could watch the game from the cheap seats.
Thus it was that my Uncle Bert saw the Chicago Cubs win the 1908 World Series. We haven’t won it since.
Decades passed, and our family grew. At dinners and other gatherings, whenever there was a lull in the conversation, someone – me, my dad, my cousin Marty Katz – would fill the void by asking, "Gee Uncle Bert, tell us about the 1908 World Series." And tell us he would. I recall praying silently, "Please, God, just once more before Uncle Bert dies. Let us win just once more before he dies." At Bert’s funeral, Marty told me he used to pray the same prayer.
There’s an old joke about the Cubs fan who dies and finds himself standing before the Pearly Gates. "Where do you come to us from?" asks St. Peter. "I was in Wrigley Field when I died," says the Cubs fan. St. Peter’s face falls a little. "You may be disappointed here," he explains.
I guess Uncle Bert had a lot of disappointment to deal with. But no more. He’s looking down from his box seat in a ballpark almost as good as Wrigley, and he knows that this is the year.
Tonight’s for you, Uncle Bert. GO CUBS!"
Good luck to both the Cubs and the Pirates tonight.
CAPTAIN OUT .......