GENERALLY SPEAKING: Tears of joy, the Chicago Cubs and the World Series
Robby General is a junior journalism and telecommunications major and writes "Generally Speaking" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Robby at email@example.com.
I cried three times after the game.
Twice Saturday night when I witnessed a 71-year-old World Series drought come to an end, and once more after I woke up the next morning realizing that it wasn’t a dream.
Sitting by myself, I re-watched the final play of the National League Championship Series — a play that I, like so many other Chicago Cubs fans, will not soon forget.
Six words from long-time Fox Sportscaster Joe Buck will resonate with fans after the Chicago Cubs knocked off the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in Game Six of the NLCS.
"The Cubs have won the pennant."
Those six words were everything that Cubs fans, young and old, have waited to hear their whole lives.
And, while I doubt anyone inside Wrigley Field heard it, they all felt it.
It began with Aroldis Chapman throwing a 102 mile per hour fastball toward Yasiel Puig, who, in turn, hit a routine two-hop ground ball back toward Addison Russell at shortstop.
Buck said while Russell cleanly fielded the grounder and sent a throw toward Javier Baez, who waited at second base.
Baez swiftly ran through the same footwork he had done hundreds of times before, releasing the ball toward Anthony Rizzo, who was at first base while Puig stormed down the line.
With that, a 6-4-3 double play as old as baseball itself turned the Cubs into National League Champions.
For me, for one moment, it seemed like the world stood still, and everything was perfect. The routine play was followed with Rizzo charging the mound while raising his hands in the air — a gesture emulated by Cubs fans around the world as they knew everything they’ve hoped for was finally coming true.
The Chicago Cubs were headed to the World Series.
For me, the tears didn’t fall right away. I, like so many other life-long Cubs fans, was yelling in excitement, feeling on top of the world in that moment.
It wasn’t until later that evening, as I sat in disbelief and thought about what this organization meant to everyone in Chicago, that the tears came. I thought about what this team meant to my family, to the great Cub names who never got the chance to see what had just happened and to everyone who came back year after year, just to see a game within “The Friendly Confines."
I thought back to the first time I walked into the historic ballpark. I remember that feeling of passion and love for the game, which welcomes me every time I return. I thought about rushing home every day after school, just to turn on the TV and watch my heroes play into the late summer months, disregarding their season record and divisional standings.
But, most of all, I thought about what it meant for everyone else.
I thought of my grandfather, 69, who has watched the Cubs only take small steps away from the term "lovable losers" during his time. And my grandmother, who isn’t here to watch this moment with us.
I thought about my father, who was introduced to the Cubs by his grandfather who died in 1983, a year before seeing a 39-year-old playoff drought end during the 96-win season in 1984.
I thought of my parents whose first date was spent playing hooky in order to watch the home opener on April 17, 1980, at Wrigley Field.
I thought of my siblings, who were always as excited as me to return to Major League Baseball’s second oldest ballpark – which, even though it was constructed in 1914, has never seen a World Series Champion.
I thought of every Cubs fan who would rather boil in the sun, eating peanuts on an August afternoon than head down to Lake Michigan to cool off.
I thought about how this victory was predicted in Harry Caray’s optimistic postgame analysis following the final win of a 1991 season, where the Cubs finished with a 77-83 record.
“Too bad we couldn’t have a victory that meant a pennant, but that will come,” Caray said. “Sure as God made green apples, someday, the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series. And maybe sooner than we think.”
It’s crazy to think how 25 years ago Caray knew what it was going to take.
And he was right.
The Cubs now have that “veteran manager” in Joe Maddon to lead “mixture of guys who are young, but still are veterans.”
On top of that, they have Theo Epstein and so many others surrounding the organization who have helped construct a team that is showing so many children what it’s like to play the game, and have fun doing it.
But I’m sure you already knew that. Just like the Cubs fans who lived and died for this team. Just like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and every other Cubs legend who were never able to hear the six words that we have waited for our whole lives.
"The Cubs have won the pennant."