By Mike Kellems
When I woke up Thursday morning my first thought was “The Chicago Cubs are World Series Champs and it wasn’t a dream!” Like so many Cubs fans over the past century, we’ve waited for next year and well, 2016 was it!
The whole postseason ride was a great experience, and Game 7? It was off the hook! Hollywood couldn’t write a better script. Sports Illustrated can publish an entire issue dedicated to the story lines that go with just the final game.
Baseball is America’s pastime and every sports championship is something special. However Wednesday night, as Rizzo caught the ball from Bryant, a reality 108 years in the waiting came to fruition in what has to be one of the greatest storybook endings to a World Series. They’ll be talking about this one for as long as it took the Cubs to bring home the hardware.
All that aside, here is what really brings it home to me: the story lines that thousands upon thousands have in the ol’ memory banks. When I was a little kid, at the ripe age of 6, I would ride my bike over to Grandpa and Grandma Ott’s house which was 10 or so blocks away and where my Great Grandma Weiler lived. I would sit with her and watch the Cubs on an old black and white television while she sipped Hamms beer and listened to Jack Brickhouse call the game on WGN. Grandma Weiler would’ve been around when the Cubs won in 1908 and I suspect that she, like so many others, suffered through most of a century waiting for “next year.”
It’s been almost a half-century since I sat with her and the memories are still vivid. I suspect there are hundreds of thousands who have similar great memories. I’ve thought about those days a lot this past week.
It rained hard Wednesday night and it was suggested to me that those were the tears of Cubs fans long since gone; tears of joy and happiness raining down from heaven. It is interesting that the rains passed from our area and all the way to Cleveland during the game … maybe there is something to that thought?
The World Series belongs to the Cubs and never has there been a more deserving team. Never has there been a more deserving fan base. The Cubs won for their team, their city and their fans. In my mind, that win was for Grandma Weiler and every grandma and grandpa who listened, watched and waited for 108 years.
Hey hey! Cubs Win!! Cubs Win!! Cubs Win!!
MIKE KELLEMS is a captain with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department.