In with the old

23 October, 2016
Rat Fink

So my good fiend and RtB citizen RD and I used to work together, see? I was his secretary many moons ago. We’re talking 20+ years past. Once in a while, there’d be the odd joke about the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians battling it out in the World Series someday — after which there’d be laughter, or saying something akin to shyeah right, or references to pigs on the wing.

Well, whaddya know. ;-)

This year, the Fall Classic will be played in two hardscrabble Midwestern cities that have sunk to terrible depths and somehow survived; two cities that, until 2016, have struggled to put out championship pro sports teams. I must admit it’s nice to experience it twice in one year (likely the last time in my life) with both the Cavs and Tribe getting to the final rounds, but I say it’s about time both US coastlines take a rest and watch the Rust Belt take a swing, savvy? It’s our turn.

Sports championship droughts are a “thing”; a title no one wants, but an “accomplishment” that’s often on the minds and lips of many. Chicago and Cleveland are semi-pros in this category, to wit:

MOST RECENT CHICAGO CHAMPIONSHIPS: Baseball (White Sox, 2005 — Cubs, 1908); Football, 1985; Basketball, 1998. Only the Blackhawks, with three Stanley cup wins in six years (2010, 2013 and 2015) can claim any kind of consistency. The Cubs haven’t been to the World Series in 71 years.

MOST RECENT CLEVELAND CHAMPIONSHIPS: Baseball, 1948; Football, 1964; Basketball, 2016.

A little thin on the dynasties, obvs. And of course, there are those who poo-poo pro sports as a whole, on account of the endless cash grab mentality on the part of owners, the violence of the hits, the vulgar salaries that push ticket prices ever higher, and the poor example many pro athletes set for kids. I know all that, too. It’s an argument for another day.

Today, we celebrate. Cubs or Tribe — matters not. Have I mentioned it’s our turn? Go Great Lakes!

11 Comments

  1. Well, for this year I for am not surprised…these were my two picks for the Series! It is historic as far as sports entertainment goes.
    For the Cubs, they have had decent teams but in years past seemed to fall apart at the worst times, not this year. I think the goat is dead!
    I know RD was hearing Harry Caray last night: Cubs Win Cubs WIn Cubs WIn!
    For the Tribe, they have been fun to watch! They have perhaps the best defense I have witnessed in many years.
    So…Ms Finkster, your unfailing loyalty for the Cleveland teams is a beautiful thing! Enjoy every inning of this Fall Classic, because it really is…Classic!
    Peace!

    • It is indeed! Now that it’s 1-1, it’s really good, because both teams know they can win. Now to get some wins in Chicago………….

  2. While I can’t claim to feel the pain of the Cubs and Indians fans, being an Angels fan since the late 70s has had its frustrations. In 1982, the Angels were one game away from winning the AL pennant, ahead of the Brewers 2 games to 0 in the best of 5. I tossed my 4-month-old daughter into the car, tore down the freeway to Anaheim and stood in line for Series Tickets. They would only let me buy a set of six, and I paid close to $400.
    After the Angels dropped three games in a row, the tickets were worthless, of course. We were refunded, but that’s small consolation for the heartbreak. That’s the closest I’ve ever been to going to a World Series.
    I love baseball, and I still love the Angels, although I don’t follow them with the same fervor as I did in my earlier days. Congratulations, Cleveland and Chicago. It’s been a long enough wait.

    PK

    • I had no idea you were an Angels fan! And living where I live, believe me, I feel your pain. So they refunded your money? Or they refunded it because they never got to play game 5?

      It’s been pretty much forever for Cleveland and Chicago — although I wouldn’t mind “forever” lasting juuuust a bit longer for the windy city. ;-)

      • The tickets I bought were for the WS, but the Angels didn’t make it that year. The games being played were for the AL pennant – the Angels had won the AL West, and the Brewers the AL East, so those two teams were battling it out in a best-of-five to see who went to the Series. Since the Angels were already up 2 – 0, they only had to win one more game to go to the WS. WS tickets went on sale in Anaheim in anticipation of that event, but you know the rest. I remember Ryan pacing about and warming up in the bullpen – even though he wasn’t a relief pitcher; he was going to be ready in case Fregosi asked him to step up, but that request never came. Since the Angels didn’t make it to the series, my ticket money was refunded. Heartbreaking.

  3. I think it’s great fun to see die-hard fans of both teams finally get their reward!

    Will you be able to watch the series or are you rehearsal-bound?

    • It is about time for sure! If the Indians and Cavs both were to win championships in the same year, well…I think a bunch of Cleveland fans could die happy next week, lol.

      I’ve been in rehearsals, but I can break away and check scores. I missed just a half hour of the first game on Tuesday, and an hour of it last night because it was scheduled earlier to avoid the coming storms.

      I should be able to watch the next 3, though! GO TRIBE!!!

  4. I’ve been a Cubs fan since I was 10 years old. At that time we lived in a small town in northern Indiana. We had no TV in our house, but the local grocery store had a black and white TV in the upper corner of the meat cutting department. Those men would allow me to lie on the floor and watch Jack Brickhouse announce Cubs games on WGN TV out of Chicago. Several year later, during summer work hours, I listened to the Cubs games on WGN radio. I remember most of the oldtimers: Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Bruce Suttor, Greg Maddox, Jody Davis, etc. and others who came and went. Most years, the Cubs were dismal, but a few years were hopeful but always ended in disappointment. So now I’m sharing the World Series with many of my friends, most of whom are Indians fans. As you mentioned we often joked about this happening, but were doubtful that it ever would. Because this Series features two Great Lakes teams, northern teams, some of the games may be played in cold weather, especially since the series could go into the first part of November. I’ve dubbed this the “long johns” World Series. Both players and fans in both cities may have to wear long johns! At any rate, I’ll enjoy it on TV from my warm recliner and have the best view of all, including instantaneous replays. Let’s all have some fun enjoying this series together!!

    • What a great story, friend! And having spent my childhood in Illinois (before moving to WI, that is), I remember names like Jack Brickhouse, believe it or not! Dad used to listen to all the Cubs games on the radio and watch them on TV.

      I saw Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks play at Wrigley when I was like 7 years old. So we do have kind of a shared Cubs history!

      I kind of like football weather for the fall classic…and from the looks of things, both teams can bring it, regardless of the cold, so on we go! One for you and one for me so far! :-D

  5. As someone who follows hockey from major juniors through minors to the NHL, I must point out that the Lake Erie Monsters, who play their home games where the Cavaliers play, won the Calder Cup in the American Hockey League, which is the developmental league right beneath the NHL and a tough circuit all its own, in 2016 for the first time in their history, sweeping the storied Hershey Bears 4-0.

    And further, that the old Cleveland Barons, a franchise that was eventually elevated to the NHL before folding, won the AHL’s Calder Cup eight or nine times back in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Yes it’s minor leagues, but they’re championships just the same.

    • You are right! I debated on whether or not to include minor league teams, as I know the Monsters well. They get lots of press up here, and offer great deals on tickets for student groups. We’ve been invited to sing the National Anthem at a Monsters game at Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavs play; it just hasn’t worked out yet.

      And I had no idea about the Barons’ history. The Thriller is also a hockey fan, but not of your caliber; he watches the Black Hawks exclusively, ponying up the ouchy cost for the NHL Center Ice package on DirecTV.

      Now to massage the hapless Browns out of their 30-year-long winter’s nap…

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