Even though I’ve been away from Chicago more than half my life — and when you get down to it, I grew up in the suburbs, not in the city — most of my family is still in and around the city and I follow what goes on there with more than passing interest. With the sports teams, too. And even though my brothers and I grew up with a Cubs allegiance I blame on my father, the Sox getting into the World Series is news.
Dad’s pulling for them, I think mostly because Mom and her brothers were all big Sox fans and, yeah, they’d love to see it happen. They’d love it especially because this kind of thing happens so seldom in Chicago. The Sox were the most recent visitors to the Series, having last played there (and lost) in 1959. The Cubs last trip was summarized by the late Steve Goodman:
“You know the law of averages says:
Anything will happen that can.
That’s what it says.
But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant
Was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan.”
So talking to Dad just now, he said: “It would be great to see them go all the way” — win the World Series. No debate there, though I’ll confess I’ve never had much love for the Sox under their current ownership and have never set foot inside the sadly misconceived stadium they built to replace Comiskey Park, the ballpark in which the Sox had played since 1910. The old place was decrepit by the exacting, fussy standards of our age; but it had history on its side and a certain trashed elegance that might have been revived.
But that’s a detour. Let’s turn back to my dad. Yes, it would be great to see a World Series winner in Chicago. In fact, it would be the first in his 84 years (he was born too late for the Golden Age of Chicago baseball, which seems to have coincided with the Roosevelt (Teddy, not FDR), Taft, and Wilson administrations.
OK — I’m on board. Go Sox.