May 24, 2024
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May 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Not many of my columns require research, but I felt this particular column deserved the respect that a few Google searches would confer. Folks, if you don’t like baseball, now is your time to turn the page. Truth is, I have not really written many baseball columns this season. My Mets, as you know (or don’t know, or don’t care), did not make it as far as they did last year. They did make it to the Wildcard round, where they lost to the San Francisco Giants. Now since I really am a girl, when they lost that game, which was a real nail biter, I said, out loud, to my family of men, “It’s ok, the series isn’t over yet.” Unfortunately, it was over, because, unbeknownst to me, the Wildcard is only one game. I lost some street cred with that comment, but they soon got over it because they needed me to do their laundry and cook for shabbos. It is amazing what your family will forget when they need something.

Anyway, this World Series is very emotional. We have the Cleveland Indians who won the World Series in 1920 and 1948. Yes, that is correct, the last time they won, our precious State of Israel became a country. I also have an emotional tie to Cleveland because our first baseball road trip, almost 10 years ago this summer, was to Cleveland. Though now it is Progressive Field, God bless capitalism, all those years ago it was known as Jacobs Field. Apparently, the Progressives had more money than the Jacobs, but that is for another time (and I didn’t have time to Google that story).

And then we have the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were the first team in baseball to play in three consecutive World Series and the first team to win twice. Though they have been in a total of 11 World Series, the last time they won was in 1908. That was the year my grandmother may or may not have come to this country with her parents from Poland. She is not Google-able and is also not around for me to ask her, so we will just say that was the year she arrived at Ellis Island. Right after they got here, she and my great grandfather took a bus and went to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play. No, I am totally making that up. My grandmother didn’t like baseball. But, my mother just informed me that she had a cousin Ann who actually did move to Chicago, but it is still questionable if she went to the winning game or not.

When you take the tour of historic Wrigley Field, one of the few original stadiums of its kind, there is so much history entrenched in everything about it. The billboard, the seats on top of neighboring buildings that fill up for every game, the driveways that you pay to park in around the neighborhood because there isn’t an abundance of stadium parking. The hometown folks stand with signs in hand that read, “Park here for $15,” and “here” is their driveway. Now that is real Mid-West hospitality!

By the time you read this article, there will be a winner and a loser. I have to cheer on the Cubs. When we went to a game at Wrigley, the boys printed out the “Go Cubs Go” song and we got to sing along when they won the game… another part of the Cubs culture that is steeped in tradition. And to be honest, it isn’t New York and everyone is really friendly. Other reasons to root for the Cubbies? The mother of my twin niece and nephew is from Chicago and she’s had to listen to my brother carry on about the Mets for years, so she really needs the win. But also because wouldn’t it just be so nice to break the curse… to win after a 108-year drought? Sounds good to me. And if they don’t win, like true baseball fans say when their team has broken their heart… “Only 15 weeks until pitchers and catchers!”

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

 Banji Ganchrow hopes that if her friend really does pay waay tooo much money to see his Cubbies win, that they will actually win. As for her friends in Cleveland…don’t you still have LeBron?

 

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