I grew up in New England as a Red Sox fan and, despite living in New York State for the past few decades, I have retained my Red Sox loyalty. Therefore, I can appreciate the range of feelings that the Chicago Cubs fans have experienced.
Both the Cubs and the Red Sox have deep roots in baseball history and play in historic ballparks. Both went for decades without winning the World Series. Both were thought to be suffering from “curses” and now both have given their cities and their fans everywhere a thrilling World Series win.
The Red Sox fans waited eighty-six years before the 2004 World Series win, a sweep powered by the first-of-its-kind comeback from being down three games to zero in the American League championship series. The Cubs fans waited an agonizing one-hundred eight years for their win last night in a nail-biting extra-inning game seven over Cleveland.
It was such a long wait that there were no fans who remembered the last time the Cubs had won. Even though Wrigley Field is a historic ballpark, it was not yet in use in 1908.
Because the Red Sox world series championship drought was not quite as long, there were some fans who remembered the last time. One of my most poignant memories of the 2004 win was a friend of my parents who was a long-time Red Sox fan. She was one hundred years old and remembered when they were champions when she was fourteen. It was so sweet that they won that year, because she passed away only a few weeks later.
One of the common factors between the Red Sox and the Cubs World Series victories is Theo Epstein. He was general manager of the Red Sox in 2004 and is now President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs. Maybe Cleveland will try to hire him? They now have the longest World Series drought at sixty-eight years, although there are teams that have never won a World Series who might want to lure him away from the Cubs as well.
For now, this Red Sox fan wishes Chicago and Cubs fans everywhere a joyous celebration. I know that you are loyal and would still love your Cubs even without this victory, but I’m glad you finally have it. Enjoy!