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Cubs

September 4, 2019

Dear Sandi Seel,

Two weeks ago the Cubs won the World Series.  Ever since they clinched they’re spot, winning the National League Title, I have worn a Cubs hat every time I have left the house.  As I write, I am still used to being able to claim some amount of good victory, such as the National League Title, but to this moment I am still comprehending that they won they whole thing.  We have to rethink our familiarity with loss.

As I watched as much of the Series as I could, before and after evening work, in a Chicago-leaning dive bar in Greenwich Village, on an iPad in the dressing room, alone on my couch texting certain close friends and family while taking it in on a tv, I felt like I was relearning, or maybe just learning, the joy of community and fanhood and live events that millions of people subscribe to weekly.

There was also a moment, in the third or fourth game, set in Wrigley where the loss of that match started to set into reality.  Something wafted into a smile on my face.  I felt lucky that I knew what it was like to look at that old, analogue scoreboard, sitting a bit stiffly in those hard seats, enjoying the momentary camaraderie of the people around you regarding the estimable loss to the smell of peanuts and popcorn and probably spilled beer, before you all slowly headed back to your cars parked for a premium price in someone’s garage in the neighborhood.

Whenever it was revealed that I was a Cubs fan in those few weeks, I always felt proud that I could legitimize my origins a bit by saying, “Yup.  Grew up going to games with my Grandpa.”  That’s true.  And I’m always glad for those memories.  Some of my fondest, earliest and most regular memories of that park though were you taking me, several times, a friend of my choosing in tow, to sit third row behind home plate – seats I could see on the television as I watched historic moments unfold in that stadium not accustomed to winning.  Back in those early 90s, I recognized the players from my cards and Starting Lineup figurines by their faces we were so close – Sanberg, Dawson, Grace.

Thanks.  Just writing this, I’ve got another big smile on my face.

On the night of final victory, when the game unfolded like a suspense film, I sat enwrapped as I never am in a sports game with Hope and old college friends in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  I was texting with Mom, Bill and Sarah.  Henry managed to stay up through the eighth inning before falling asleep on Billy’s lap.  Bill roused him when there was a rain delay at which point the sleeping kid unwittingly unleashed his own rain delay all over Bill.  I, for one, love that in baseball, the winning moment could be a simple, routine thrown out to the first baseman.

Now, they’ve won.  They’ve won the whole thing.  Grandpa lived 82 years and never saw it.  Uncle Bill listened to their last Series appearance on the radio in a college dorm in the 40s.  This year, they beat Cleveland, the only team that could have hit confusingly opposing heartstrings for him.

Among the other news in 2016, particularly the strange wave that would take over our headlines, concern and stability a week later, I’m pretty darned glad for that one.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope the California sun is shining warmly and that the ocean is still the ocean.

Love always,

Tim

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