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The World Series you've got to love

POSTED October 27, 2016
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

            Putting your rooting loyalties aside you’ve got to love this one - The Cubbies and the Tribe.  Two teams who can claim state of the art championship futility. Who has done it better than the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.

            We can’t really lose with this one. You can root for either team but you have to have a little soft spot in your heart for whoever wins and whoever loses for that matter. Heck, these franchises don’t celebrate championships, they watch them. They don’t know the top of the mountain; they have been knocked off the trail so many times on the way up they have been classified as litter.

            There are no living memories of the Cubs last Series win. It was so long ago in 1908, it close to being a rumor. They beat the Detroit Tigers in five games. The Tigers with a very young Tyrus Raymond Cobb. The 108-year drought makes the Indians’ 67-year hiatus from the top spot seem downright modern. After all, we did have television by then.

            So sit back and enjoy, but if you want to root and have no firm affection for either club on a daily basis you have choices.

            If Teddy Roosevelt is your guy, go Cubs. He was hanging around in `08. If your preference is more Harry Truman and Bess, they were Indians vintage. You like a good Mark Twain yarn? The Cubs are you guys. Samuel Langhorn Clemens was still breathing in and out during the Cubbies run. If William Faulkner or John Steinbeck grab your attention, go Indians

            If the soon-to-be face on the $20 bill and one of the forces in the Underground Railroad that led so many slaves to freedom is high on your list, then Harriet Tubman is your gal and she was still around when the Cubs won. The Indians are in the era of armed forces integration.

            You like flying? Try the Indians. The Cubs traveled by train. Hey, it was only five years after the Wright brothers. Great Native American Leader Geronimo was alive for the Cubs run to immortality.

            If you prefer movies with color and sound, lean towards the Indians. The Cubs had to be content with silent movies, black and white. What can I tell you, it’s been a while.  There were still plenty of Civil War veterans around during the Cubs euphoria. Even Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg, was hanging in there. The Indians were in the beginning of the post-WWII baby boom.

            Both have lakes, the Cubs on Lake Michigan, the Indians on Lake Erie. What’s your pleasure?

            You even have to have a little empathy for both clubs. The Cubs of 1908 had Hall of Famer Mordecai `Three-Finger’ Brown (29-9) and three other future inductees to Cooperstown – shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman John Evers and first baseman Frank Chance of the famous Tinkers to Evers to Chance fame.

            Since the Cubs have had black cats, Steve Bartman and a whole lot of depression. The Indians meanwhile, well, they are just Cleveland where championships come to taunt unless you get a LeBron or Jim Brown to come along one every hundred years or so. It’s been a long time since Bob Feller and Lou Boudreau.

            With apologies to the Mr. Feller, life has taken a turn when your most famous pitcher is Ricky `Wild Thing’ Vaughn of `Major League’ movie fame.

             This time around you have quality on both sides. The Cubs with Anthony Rizzo, pitchers Jake Arietta and John Lester and manager Joe Maddon and GM Theo Epstein have been the best team baseball this season. The Indians with the unbelievable reliever Andrew Miller and, manager Terry Francona have taken care of business in an admirable efficient way. Way under the radar in Red Sox Nation, Yankee and Mets territory.

             I’ll admit I’m torn on this one. I’ve been an Orioles guy since Brooks Robinson owned third base. The only thing that ever got by Brooks was the wind. If not the Orioles, it’s the Red Sox. It’s always been the American League.

             But the Cubs, well, how much pain can you inflict on a fandom? If they don’t win this year it may take divine intervention and we’re not talking the baseball Gods. We’re talking the big guy himself.

             I know no long-suffering Cubs fans but I have a friend, Ken Naylor , who served me up plenty of cherry and vanilla cokes during my younger days and a lot of coffee in later time and has suffered through the duration of Indian futility. I watched the yearly frustration while us Oriole, Yankee and Philly fans flocked to his soda shop.

             He’s heading towards 80-years old these days. I’m rooting for him. He listened to us long enough back then. Just once he gets to go bed on the top of the world isn’t too much to ask is it.

            Of course if that happens, it means the Cubs are still the Cubs. They’ve been through a whole lot of dismal. It wouldn’t hurt the city for today either considering the gun violence that has been going on. I mean, a baseball parade every 110 years or so isn’t so much to ask for is it.

           Heck even with Capone in charge, the Cubs couldn’t find a title.

           I think I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it. Somebody is going home happy this time after a very, very long time.  Both teams are everybody’s team this time. As for the losers, the next time everybody will be rooting for them.

           Come on, this is good stuff.                    

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