Local Cubs fans are hoping for just one more victory

Local+Cubs+fans+are+hoping+for+just+one+more+victory

Justin Thompson

BY JUSTIN THOMPSON (’17)

The Cleveland Indians recent and improbable run to the World Series has prompted long dormant fans to come out of the woodwork to cheer on the Tribe. Chief Wahoo’s cartoonish head has become a mainstay in the hallways and it seems that everyone is intrigued by the opportunity of two Cleveland sports teams capturing a championship in the same season. A 68-year title drought certainly fills fans with restlessness, but it’s hard to imagine waiting 108 years.

Chicago Cubs fans are hungrier for a title than fans of any other sports franchise.

Their pain is increased by the caliber of players who have passed through the Cubs organization without winning the World Series. Players like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg and Sammy Sosa played the most productive years of their career in the shadow of outfield ivy, but none of them brought a title to the north side of Chicago.

Math teacher Gerald Holmes thinks that this year’s team is better suited for a deep October run than previous squads.

“The 2003 team was built around experienced hitting and young pitching, however this year’s team features older pitchers and young hitters,” Holmes said.

The 2003 season ended in heartbreak for every Cub’s fan, but it was magnified for one fan in particular.  Steve Bartman infamously interfered with a foul ball during the league championship series, leading to a late game collapse that snowballed into an early playoff exit.

“If Steve Bartman were here right now I would tell him that he didn’t deserve all the criticism that he received, it wasn’t his fault that they lost,” Holmes said.

Holmes, who was lucky enough to snag tickets to Game 7, is confident that this year really is the year for the Cubbies.

“This team is much better suited for playoff baseball than teams from previous years,” he said. “If Kris Bryant gets going they would be in much better shape.”

Senior Nick Kurek is in no way a bandwagon fan; he loves to wear his Cubs gear to school despite the ridicule he receives from Indians fans. Fortunately for Kurek, he gets to wear his jersey a little bit longer this year.

“I’ve been a Cubs fan for years, basically my whole family is from Chicago so that’s where my influence comes from.”

Nick credits this year’s success to manager Joe Maddon. Maddon has decades of experience in baseball and a wealth of knowledge to pass onto the younger players.

“Joe Maddon has done a great job these past few seasons of getting the Cubs to the position they are in,” said Kurek.

For Cubs fans everywhere, 108 years has been too long to wait for a championship. Despite major setbacks, including the devastating loss of power hitter Kyle Schwarber for most of the season, the Cubs are still in prime position to capture the crown.

After 103 wins in the regular season, the good people of the Chicago, as well as a few in our own school, are hoping for just one more victory.