I’ve been a Cubs fan all my life. Well since about five years old as best as I can recall. For me the hey day of the Chicago Cubs was when they had Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Hubbs (Ken Hubbs played 2nd base for them starting in 1961 through 1963 when he tragically died in a plane crash ). We had Andre Rodgers at short stop that year.
We had Billy Williams in left , Ellis Burton in center and yes… we had Lou Brock in right field
We had Dick Ellsworth, Bob Buhl, Glen Hobbie, Cal Koonce and Don Elston on the mound to name just a few. And Merrit Renew and Dick Bertell as catchers.
The team finished 82 -80 that year finishing 7th in the National League under coach Bob Kennedy.
They played ugly and won and lost ugly. But I loved that team. I was 10 years old in 1963 and I lived breathed and ate baseball. We played from sunup to sundown down behind at the old Hickory Hill School in Carpentersville Il. where I grew up. The Williams brothers, and all the other kids in the neighborhood would assume the personas of our favorite players. We had to toss the bat just to see who would be the Cubs!
When someone hit a home run, we broke out into a chorus of “HEY-HEY! ” Just like our favorite sportscaster would do. Those were the best of days to be growing up even though the Cubs never got close to the world series.
What they had and what Chicago had was optimism. Ernie would say “Let’s play two today!” That’s how much he loved the game and we did too. Almost as much as we loved Ernie. The city and the Cubs always knew there would be next year to play again.
Well folks, 2016 IS OUR YEAR! We won. It’s hard to believe. Pinch me no don’t I don’t want to wake up.
Congratulations to my Cubbies. And to the city that taught me you can be a nice guy and not finish last.