Chicago Cubs Baseball

A Lasting Curse

Chicago+Cubs+Baseball

Kevin Strenski, Staff Writer

Baseball is America’s pastime. It was one of the first sports in this great country, and has had a lasting effect on the American people. Many fans go to games, buy jerseys, and watch their favorite teams on television. Finding your favorite team has always been based on location, winning, and overall appeal.

The Chicago Cubs have none of these characteristics: they are only one of two teams in Chicago, and they have not won a World Series in a long time. So what makes the Chicago Cubs special, more so than any other team in the MLB ?

It has been over 105 years since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, thus the nickname “lovable losers.” The loyalty of a Cubs fan is something that is unmatched.  If you can remain a fan after going a century without seeing them win a championship, then you are a true fan. It is very easy to be a fan of a winning team like the Yankees, who have won 27 World Series. Being a Cubs fan is a lifelong burden that we bear proudly, making us stronger than any other team.

What makes the Cubs special, aside from their losing ways, are the stadium and the fans. The Cubs play in a historic ballpark, Wrigley Field, which happens to be one of the most beautiful parks in all of baseball. However, what makes the place special are the people. The fans have created an atmosphere of constant fun despite the constant losing. Thus various traditions have ensued.

One of these is the tradition to throw any opposing team’s home runs back on the field. Another tradition, is to heckle the opposing team’s players, especially the rookies or star players. As you hear fellow Cubs fans screaming at the top of there lungs, “Hey Schaffer, you stink!” then and only then have you truly experienced a Cubs game. The atmosphere creates an experience unlike any other. Another tradition is the curse.

The World Series drought can be attributed to several curses. The most famous was the Bartman scandal in 2003. Steve Bartman was a spectator at the National Championship Series game between the Cubs and the then Florida Marlins at historic Wrigley field. The Cubs were five outs away from advancing to the world series, the stadium was packed and all of the streets surrounding the stadium were filled with mobs of fans. Then Bartman reached over the wall and snatched a foul ball that a Cubs player would have caught. This fan interference took an out away from the Cubs and it changed the game completely.

The Cubs lost the game and then lost the series. Meanwhile, Bartman left the game and even left the country for good because of the all of the shame and guilt which he felt. Many Cubs fans blame him for the Cubs losing that series and missing out on a chance at the World series. Bartman received threats and hate mail for week.  Eventually he was forced to flee from the United States because of his mistake.  Within days of the incident Bartman had disappeared off of the map.

However, this year the Cubs have an excellent team with a new ace pitcher named Jon Lester and rookie sensation Kris Bryant who plays third base. The Cubs also have an intriguing General Manager, Theo Epstein, who led the Red Sox to their world series victories.  Epstein is considered to be one of the brightest general managers in all of baseball.  With the best lineup that Chicago has seen in years and a general manager capable of filling in the finishing pieces, the Cubs are poised for a playoff run in the coming seasons.

This year is different. For the first time since the curse in 2003 the Cubs have an excellent team that is poised for a deep playoff run.  The excitement of a possible World Series win has Cubs fans buzzing. A novel feeling has fallen over Wrigley Field this year, the understanding that finally we are good. The Cubs are finally winning close games, scoring a lot of runs, and holding their opponents to fewer runs, something that the Cubs have not done for several years. The excitement is building, and Cubs fans are more than ready for a World Series championship on the north side.

Anticipation of a winning season is growing, but will the Cubs indeed pull through on a world series victory? Or will they fail in yet another horrifying turn of events, and bring even more curses to an already cursed team? Only time will tell if the excitement is worth it.