One Last Time

Let my ashes blow in a beautiful snow / From the prevailing 30 mile an hour southwest wind / When my last remains go flying over the left-field wall.

– Steve Goodman

After 108 years, the world can finally say these words:

The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions!

Image result for Steve Goodman

Steve Goodman, a lifelong native of Chicago, wrote this great song in 1984 as a follow up to an earlier song of his “A Dying Cubs Fan Final Request”, meant to be a more uplifting song and to serve as the official song of the Chicago Cubs. He died six months after penning it (September, final month of the season) and it now serves as a lasting memory of his love for the city of Chicago and the Cubbies.

Now that the Cubs are World Series champions, what’s next in store for this lovable team? Keep winning I suppose and really make these rare celebrations a tradition. The parade today throughout Wrigleyville and beyond was sensational and really well put on. For the first time in 108 years, the North side of Chicago got to see their team celebrate and up close and personal, just like the White Sox did back in 2005 when they broke their 87 year drought. Back then, way back then, fans would have came to the parade in stagecoaches or on horses, sloshing through muddy grounds, fighting to get a good view of the hometown heroes.

A city was revitalized today. A fanbase uplifted. It is the dawning of a new era for the Chicago Cubs and everyone can thank Theo Epstein for building the team, getting the players, and getting them out of the dark days that was pre-2009 before the Ricketts family took over. There are truly great days to come but of course planning ahead is always necessary to ensure that the team stays successful, because to tell you the truth, Cubs nation is not used to being on top for so long and it would only be natural for them to fall back down and be humble again as they have learned to be for so many years. But there is no Curse to blame for losing anymore – only theirselves. All of that stuff from the past is history. Baseball is a truly pure game now that all of the hoaxes, jinxes, curses, and other foolish stuff has been erased.

I can proudly say that I am now a Cubs fan for life after the remarkable, magical season they had this year. I am glad I got to see one of my favorite teams, basically almost everyone’s favorite, win a championship at the age of 25. I now have a long life to live to see maybe more championships and more great stories. I am part of the new generation and am quite lucky to say that I got to witness history while so many before me lived and died waiting and waiting.

Song, Base

#NaNoPoblano2016 Day 4

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#FlyTheW

The Cubs have won the pennant! The Cubs have won the pennant!

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The echo from the Cubs last World Series trip in 1945 finally was increased to a full on boom of cheering and ovation as the lovable team from the North Side shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 last night. It almost seemed too easy, save for a few bobbles of the ball to Cubs infielders and a late base hit in the ninth that immediately raised suspicions of the Curse of the Billy Goat rearing its ugly head again. But tonight was an entirely different story. The Cubbies were a team of destiny, as they had been all season long and through the playoffs. They were meant to win this time and not come up short again as they had done for the last 71 years.

My prediction in one of my previous posts is halfway correct.

There is now only one more thing to do: get four more wins and really shock the world and hope something devastating doesn’t happen. Because breaking a 108 year drought is not for the faint of heart. There are 108 more outs to go for the Cubs to win their first World Series since 1908. Eight of course goes into four, the number of wins they need. Eight divided by four equals two, the number of championships the Cubs have. The eights seem to be a pattern here. The Cubs were six outs away in the eighth inning of the 2003 NLCS up 3-0 before their dreams went down the long drophill of the Bartman coaster and the Marlins scored eight runs, forcing a Game 7 and winning that to go to the World Series. 2003 is irrelevant now of course now that the Cubs have finally broken through But Steve Bartman is a permanent part of Chicago Cubs history. If he came out during a World Series game next week, he would probably get the loudest applause Wrigley Field can manage (including the rooftops that act as an extension).

So they are in the 2016 World Series. Well, that is quite an accomplishment that was over 70 years in the making. If the ivy walls could speak, they’d tell us of the heartbreaks and disappointments over the years. The ivy wasn’t even on the wall at Wrigley back in 1908, being added in 1937.

It’s going to be the Chicago Cubs vs. the Cleveland Indians, two teams from two Midwest states separated by Indiana, so the traveling is going to be very short and straight forward.

The story is simple. The Indians haven’t won since 1948 and the Cubs haven’t won since 1908. One franchise’s drought is going to be snapped while the other will live on for God knows how long.

The epic 2 hour movie of the Chicago Cubs 108 year struggle will end fittingly if the Cubs win the World Series. If it ends in disappointment, well, there’s always next year as Cubs fans say.

May the best team win and let’s play ball!

This Is Our Year

Image result for chicago cubs 1908 pictures

The Cubs are going to win, you bet your lucky stars
The Curse is going to die this year, the most ridiculous thing by far
All these years they’ve been dreamin’ only to come up short
Now Chicago’s north side will endlessly celebrate, sadness is no more
The Billy Goat force thought it could win again
But the true talent of the Cubs would not give in

And guess what? They did win!

Youth Pastime

That’s a funny word. Pastime. I always thought it should be two words. Pass time as in something you do to pass the time. Baseball is still called America’s pastime though it has started to die out in favor of faster sports and activities.

One of the favorite things about being a kid in the old days was going out and throwing a baseball. Now in the 2010s decade, that activity isn’t so prominent anymore with all the techno gadgets floating around, which I don’t mind because it makes life more interesting.

This video is from a baseball game from last year that we went to. The home team won 6-0. I went to my first baseball game at six years old at the old Tiger Stadium, which is now likely to inhabit actual live tigers (and other wildlife) because it is so neglected.

Youth

October Baseball

Postseason baseball in October is magical, especially if you have a team to root for and they go all the way. The first series I ever watched was the 2003 NLCS featuring the Cubs and Marlins. Game 6 is what sticks out in my mind, since it was basically the first game I remember watching and saw a headphone wearing Steve Bartman supposedly interfere with a foul ball in the eighth inning that Cubs outfielder Moses Alou tried to catch. The Cubs were leading the game and two outs away from the promise land. After the Bartman incident, the wheels fell off with a wild pitch, error, and eight runs coming from Florida and them winning that game and Game 7. And Bartman was forever etched in not only cursed Cubs history, but overall baseball history. He hasn’t been to a baseball game since and has declined appearances, no matter how much money he’s been offered.

I have to say buying the online MLB postseason package and getting to see the Cubs and Mets in the NLCS is something I’m proud of and excited about. There isn’t any cable or satellite at home to see any of the pre-World Series games on TV so it was either dishing out some money or listening to the series on radio, which isn’t as entertaining as the visual medium. After having not seen a game all year, except when I was actually at a Tigers and Cubs game at CoPa in June with Detroit shutting out the Cubbies, it is breathtaking to see the green turf, flying infield dirt, and hear the crowd and crack of bats.

Back in the NLCS for the first time since 2003, the Cubs lost the first game 4-2 but watching the game with the behind home plate camera was interesting, making me feel as if I were actually sitting in the seats located there at Citi Field. I had a choice of ten different angles from around the stadium, including a blimp shot, but only the cameras from behind home plate gave me a good view of the game in full-screen mode, being able to see the base hits, home runs, and outfielders and infielders fielding the balls. For ten bucks, it is really worth it. Having no commercials and being able to rewind is nice.

Even if the Cubs lose this series, which is looking more and more like the outcome as they are behind again tonight, I still would appreciate getting to finally watch a baseball game for the first time all year. I think I’ll still watch the World Series with this online player, even if it’s on national television, because of the different angles, having rewind options, and not having to listen to the annoying FOX broadcast. It is fun to watch baseball from a new perspective.

Other news:

Dennis Rodeman, the firefighter who was the victim of an intentional hit and run collision back on September 9, was given a respectful salute and ceremony this week along with a Michigan state trooper named Chad Wolf who was also involved in a crash back on August 28 in Lansing. A 72 year old was in a truck pulling a trailer when he abruptly pulled onto the exit ramp after quickly realizing he was going to miss his intended exit. The trailer struck Wolf, who was on a motorcycle and patrolling the highway, and was pinned underneath. He was then dragged along until the driver pulled into a rest stop and noticed the trooper was underneath. He died later at a hospital.

Money was raised for both of these brave men through GoFundMe accounts. There were also Fill the Boot campaigns for both civil servicemen that raised money for the families.

The fact that Michigan State Troopers are honoring these men of duty at a Badges Unite Benefit and Appreciation BBQ fundraiser this week in Marshall Park tells me that the human spirit is still alive and well within us all, especially my hometown. Even after the days have passed by and people have already moved on to other things, local townspeople are still paying their respects to Rodeman and Wolf and their friends and families – because what happened to these men was so horrific. I’m happy that these stories and similar ones remain newsworthy enough for future reporting and that the tragedies have not been forgotten. Always in my heart.

Now onto Wrigley Field for three games. The Mets are up 2-0. Come on Cubs. Let’s not let the party end already.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Right to Brag.”

Tell us about something you (or a person close to you) have done recently (or not so recently) that has made you really, unabashedly proud.

Summertime in the Rose City

Summer Hangout
Frosty Boy opens annually during the summer in Jackson

It’s summertime here in southern Michigan, so that means a number of things: going to the lake, shaking out the snow white legs, eating ice cream outdoors, and watching a bunch of fringe sports until the real main attraction comes back in the fall. So far this summer, I’ve done every one of those things except the first because I guess we’re too lazy or tired to make the trip to a lake this year.

The real highlight of the summer so far though has been going to a June 9th baseball game at Comerica Park between the Tigers and the Cubs. The stadium sitting just across the street from the Lions’ Ford Field is magnificent and no matter where you are seated you get an excellent view of the game going on the field, as my folks did sitting in the third tier. The Tigers dominated and won the game, but it was Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis’ amazing over the wall robbing catch of a potential home run that I remember the most.

The Rose Parade is an annual tradition here

There was also the Rose Parade in my hometown of Jackson which I got all on video and have yet to do anything with. The 57th incarnation of it. It included around four local marching bands, three floats or cars of Rose pageant queens, two men in superhero costumes (Batman and “Captain Jackson”), one happy go lucky but equally creepy Ronald McDonald character and one marching Monty Python Spam-a-Lot ensemble. It was altogether a wonderful day at the parade, even if I was too old to receive candy from the throwers and gave a potentially free stick of cotton candy I found lying on the ground untouched back to the vendor who supposedly dropped it. There was a cop right across the street from where the cotton candy lay and I obviously didn’t want to look suspicious or fall for some unintentional bait.

Here is an excerpt from the Rose Parade website as to how my city got its nickname:

In 1922 the Town Improvement Society approved the idea of a rose garden for the Ella Sharp Park as a memorial to Ella W. Sharp, the donor of 550 acres of land to the city and the first president of the Town Improvement Society. Society members planted roses and developed the garden, which was dedicated in 1926. Five years later, the rose was chosen as the official flower for Jackson and we became the Rose City.

A pretty straightforward tale that I just found out today.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In the Summertime.”

If it’s autumn or winter where you live, what are you most looking forward to doing next summer? If it’s spring or summer where you are, what has been the highlight of the season so far for you?

S is for Stream of Thoughts

I thought I’d name off an assortment of things on my mind today to make this fun.

So long, Steve

First, I have to give my sincere condolences to the late Steve Byrnes and his family. The NASCAR broadcaster and analyst died April 21 at the age of 56 after battling cancer for several months. I’ve been watching NASCAR races for over 10 years now and always remember him doing pit box reports or giving interviews with drivers and he always was a professional at his job, a real joy to watch. He will be deeply missed by his long-time wife, son, and family as well as the entire NASCAR nation.

Survivor

I absolutely love this show and it seems to never fail every season. The show is in its 30th season; I’ve been watching since season 7 in 2003 which was Pearl Islands. And wow, has it changed a lot! The world has changed a lot as well (no Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube back then). I’ve changed a lot. The season on right now, which is titled ‘Worlds Apart’, has been one twist and blindside after the other, leaving us quite surprised and stunned (s words!) after each shocker of an episode (Rodney!). And there’s a YouTube sensation on there right now named Will Sims, famous for this one video:

Pretty funny, but I can’t seem to find his official YouTube channel with anything else he’s ever done. This can’t simply be it.

Spaghetti

This stringy food is one of my favorites, especially eaten with crispy garlic bread or never ending breadsticks. But tonight, the sauce was definitely not the best, lacked the thickness and rich tomato taste I’ve come accustomed to, wasn’t really a sauce but more like a ground up meat slush. I’m not saying my mom’s a bad cook, but well, she’s not exactly Chef Ramsey either…

Struggles

It’s been quite a struggle to find work here in Jackson since any jobs fit for me are scarce (a dishwasher, I guess?), but I’m far from giving up. I really want to move out of state someday and look for work as a designer or computer technician, since I seem to know a lot about computers and technology in general.

Struck him out!

Baseball season is now in full swing (pardon the pun) and the first month has some interesting developments: Washington, the team high on expectations, is under performing at sub par .500 with newly acquired pitcher Max Schrezer. The season is far from over for them but they’ll have to not only look good on paper but also on the field if they’re going to run for a championship. The Chicago Cubs are above .500 for once and may have gotten the answer in Chris Bryant, a player with the potential to be a major star (watch out Trout!). The Giants are in last place, but of course this is their off year with it being odd numbered. The Red Sox have woken up again this year and are primed to be a potential playoff threat, leading their division. Meanwhile, my beloved Tigers have not missed a beat from last year and look poised to go for the division championship once again – if the Royals aren’t to stand in their way. But how much buzz does baseball get at this time of year with the predictable and obvious NBA playoffs in full riot? Not nearly enough to wake old snoring grandpa from his sleep, that is.

Save the earth

Earth Day 2015

Today is, or was, Earth Day, and it’s too bad I couldn’t really get out to do something special like planting a garden or some flowers with the weather being bad. But Google had a neat Doodle on their homepage that I took for a spin. I also found out I’m a Shrimp Mantis from their “What animal are you?” quiz. Whatever that is supposed to mean, I’m not sure.

And last but not least…

Selfie-stick

I looked up this the other day and apparently it is not an entirely new thing, having been around since at least the 90s. But it was around 2013 during the Miley Cyrus craze when these things really started taking off. And now they’re being banned at not only sporting events, but also at concerts, in museums, restaurants, and many other places that are tightly packed or have close encounters, since they can be used as a potential weapon, destroy things, and bother people. Could also double as a golf club or a barbecue pit roaster. I still want one though!

April A to Z Challenge