Tag Archive: Chicago Cubs


Down to the Wire Finish

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

By the time you read this, either the Cubs have won the World Series or they remain lovable losers who came this/close to ending the curse.

I don’t know at the moment if they have done one or the other. At this point in time they have won their second game and must win two more in order to break the curse.

chicago-cubs-2It was great, it was terrifying. I thought they were going to lose it all at various moments when I wasn’t thinking the team had finally gotten over their fears.

I was feeling jealous of my cousin who was in Wrigley field during this tremendous win.

I almost felt bad for all of the times I made fun of him for being a Cubs fan while I am a Sox’s fan.

Almost.

But here’s the thing. I am happy to see the Cubs get this opportunity. But if they lose, I will not let Cubs fans know just how great my team was during the time they were in the World Series. Why, even former president George H.W. Bush was in the audience and they made a point of rubbing Houston’s nose in the loss by doing it quickly.

Perhaps that is too mean, I’m not sure.

In the mean time I can send you in the direction of some great movies about baseball.

You know the ones because they all seem to star Kevin Costner. Ok, maybe not but my two favorites are Bull Durham which is about an older player trying to figure out his role in Baseball as his playing career ends. The other is Field of Dreams in which a man discovers a secret world of deceased players in his cornfield.

Field of Dreams IMDb com

Image from IMDb.com

Both movies, from different perspectives, tell a story that women can love and men can cry about without being total sissies. Maybe that is not politically correct to say but some guys still want to be macho stoics. Whatever.

You can still enjoy these stories of men finding ways to explore their feelings about lost chances and missed opportunities channeled into new opportunities such as a different career in your field or playing catch with your deceased father.

Or maybe you want to explore how the Cleveland Indians manage to stick it it their money-grubbing owner by not stinking and finding their way to the World series in Major League. It will involve a pitcher with wild throws and a voodoo spell to make a bat work. Meanwhile, Tom Berenger learns his game while in the last chance of his career to do something great.

Charlie Sheen appears in this movie as the pitcher with the strong but undisciplined arm. Dennis Haysbert is the Caribbean player who uses what ever he can to bring luck to his bat. None of these movies I have talked about are meant for kids.

rookie-of-the-yearBut there is one that might appeal to them. Rookie of the Year is about a kid who discovers a new talent. After the kid’s arm heals from a break, the kid discovers he can throw as fast as a major a. Of course he is discovered. And soon he is playing for the Cubs as a pitcher.

It is a cute and sweet movie that kids can love. While not always plausible, it is fun and appropriate for younger members of the family..

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Saying Goodbye, Chicago Style.

This past week saw the passing of Ron Santo, the radio color man for the Chicago Cubs. He was a third baseman for the club from the 1969 club that did a spectacular downward spiral at then end of that season.

We could argue if he belongs in the Hall of Fame but let’s not. He was seemingly good guy, one of the better players and full of passion for the game. Cub fans love him but his was some of the worst anouncing I ever heard. That is my opinion and I do not wish to be beaten up for it. 

Picture by Karen Castens

However, I am not sure how many non-Chicagoans noticed that the funeral procession went past the Chicago Tribune building and Wrigley Field before going on to the cemetary.

I know some of you might be thinking that is weird or maybe you are thinking that was a nice gesture to drive by the ball park where Ronny lived and breathed and dived into the dirt.

However, it was none of those. It is a Chicago tradition.

Perhaps they do not do it in your state or city but in Chicago the funeral procession with the hearse goes past the decease’s home before heading to the cemetary. It might make the drive longer and more difficult. But it is what we do.

A few years ago when my Auntie Mary died, we drove past her neat bungalow on the southwest side. We did it for my grandmother and grandfather who lived in Pilsen.

The funniest procession story may be my grandfather’s. It was a cold and wet day, just before Christmas. You have to understand the neighborhood used to be Slovak and eastern European. During the white flight years, many of these people moved out and Hispanic people moved in.  My grandmother refused to move.

Picture by DHarder

I forget the name of the funeral director but it was Valasquez or Valdez or V-something. The procession had driven past the house and turned onto the main drag. That is when the funeral director, Ray, stopped everything so that he could get the interlopers in the line out. People either did not see the honken big hearse or did not want to be bothered with the niceties of waiting for the procession.

That is when I notice that my mother is laughing to herself. She points to her younger sister and they share a knowing look. I ask what is going on. My mother explains that the hearse is parked right outside of Grandpa’s favorite bar.

We are in the middle of Pilsen, on the way to the cemetary and, apparently, Grandpa needs to say goodbye to one more place. So he does and we drive past.

A year ago we buried my Aunt Barbara next to her husband, Pedro. Because her casket was coming from Indiana, many of us did not drive past her former home in Little Village or the family home in Pilsen. I missed that tradition although I did enjoy getting to talk to cousins I have not seen in a long time.

I am sure Cub fans feel the same way. It was fitting and right that Santo’s hearse went by the ball field. After all, it has been a home for him for most of the last forty years in one way or another. He was able to say goodbye to the most historic field in the country that is still standing.

That alone is worth every mile out of the way from the cemetary.

Goodbye, Ronny. Maybe, this is finally the year.