The Eye of the Storm

The Eye of the Storm

by Gabe GilsonStaff Writer

Tinker to Evers to Chance. These days, those three names do not mean much. One hundred years ago in Chicago, however, it was the name of the greatest 6-4-3 put-out in baseball.

One hundred years. What 20-year-old college student can even attempt to fathom that amount of time? For one particular professional sports franchise, it has been that long since a championship.

Growing up a Cubs fan, I never really realized when I was younger that my beloved north-side-of-town boys had not won in so long. I remember watching Mark Grace hit everything with the wooden bat. I remember Ryne Sandberg fielding the ball with luster and elegance. Of course, I remember hearing Harry Caray broadcast the games and sing that seventh inning stretch loud and proud.

As all Cubs fans that did not just hop on the bandwagon this year know, we were oh-so-close five years ago. Steve Bartman is a name that will be brought up if the Cubs do not happen to pull it out this year.

Bartman may have stopped the run in 2003 when he interfered with a foul ball that former Cubs left-fielder Moises Alou might have been able to catch against the Marlins in the National League Championship Series. Even thinking of the instance makes me nauseous.

If it fails to happen for the Cubs again this year, it may never happen. This club has the perfect balance of youth and veterans. The Cubs have some of the best power hitting in the league and fantastic pitchers from the starters to the relievers to match it. With the experienced Lou Piniella as the skipper, the Cubs have confidence, craziness and guts to go along with their leadership.

The scary thing for any Cubs fan is the realization that the jinxes are still out there. The first thought any Cubs fan would think about the playoff run is, “What moron is going to somehow screw it up or curse it this year?”

Some days, seeing the Cubs win the World Series seems like something beyond a fairy tale. While I am still not exactly sure what I would do if the Cubs happened to win it all, the last thing I am saying is that I want the Cubs to pull it out for me and me only. A Cubs win in the World Series would not just be appreciated by me, but would give peace of mind to so many others.

Win it for Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Hack Wilson, Billy Williams and all the other Cub greats that never won the ring.

Win it for the billy goat that cursed the Cubs for all these years.

Win it for Harry Caray. Holy cow, the poor guy went his entire lifetime broadcasting for the team he loved and never got to witness history in the form of a World Series title.

Win it for Bill Buckner. The man that cursed the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series also played for the cursed Cubs. The Red Sox have received their redemption; now it’s somebody else’s turn.

Win it for Steve Bartman.

Win it for the bandwagon fan that wants to see something special happen this year.

Win it for the lifelong fans who have cheered at Wrigley Field, watched countless hours of Cubs games on television and live their lives looking at the standings in the National League Central Division.

Most of all, win it for your teammates. There is not one person in the clubhouse that does not deserve to hold that trophy surrounded by countless men wearing the same uniform spraying champagne and dancing around like fools all over the place.

Win or lose, this post-season is sure to be a tear-jerker for anybody wearing that blue and red.