The Cubs Win the 2016 World Series
The stories have yet to cease. The emotions are still high to this day. And on the night Anthony Rizzo told David Ross he was in a “glass case of emotions,” I believe it’s safe to note, so were millions of people around the world.
After 108 years of waiting, on Novebmer 3rd 2016, the Cubs won World Series, defeating the Indians by 8-7.
No matter where you were at that moment, it is fair to say a domino effect of emotions rippled across the country, and even throughout the world.
Some said, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a baseball game.”
I can safely say it’s not just a baseball game. In Chicago, the Cubs bring a beloved history that goes back generations. When we talk about them, we talk tradition, memories, family, love, warmth and an unparalleled unity throughout our city.
As the celebrations began, the city of Chicago came together in a way I’ve never seen-one historical dream that connected all of us. And the stories came out, the dedications were made, and my heart exploded as I was blessed to see so much love in one city. I needed to learn more-how this win affected so many lives. Today, I share the first of hundreds of stories with you. I hope you find these words as inspiring as I did.
“What Does the Cubs win Mean to You?”
The Stories Began with my Brother and his Son, Cameron
Because my brother and I grew up with an incredible single mother, I was lucky enough to have a small part raising him. And today, I am honored to watch him raise his boys. My 8-year old nephew, Cameron, is the biggest Cubs fan I’ve ever met. In May, he won the Cubs Move Challenge, and was able to participate with the Cubs in their pre-game exercise warm-ups at Wrigley Field.
And then I saw this….
And More Stories…
World Wrestling Entertainment
“I grew up a Cub fan 30 miles north of the city, in Waukegan, Illinois. Harry Caray and Steve Stone supplied the voices of my youth, the friendly confines manned by the likes of Sandberg, Grace, Maddux and Dawson. As a kid I lived the sadness of ’84 and ’89, and though life had taken me away from Chicago, the sagas of Sosa and Bartman stung. They still do. I dreamed of the day when the “W” would fly over a World Series.
I was on a plane bound for Saudi Arabia with WWE while Game 7 was unfolding, and the wifi was so bad on the flight that the only thing that seemed to get through to my phone were iMessages. For the entirety of that game, which felt even longer sitting in a metal tube hurtling across the Atlantic at 40,000 feet, my beautiful wife TEXTED me play-by-play as friends and colleagues gathered in the aisles to get the updates. ‘Russell up. Struck out. Ross up. OMG. Home run.’ Game 7 played out in my mind’s eye off of these choppy updates. When it ended, her text was simple. It read, ‘Martinez up. Montgomery pitching. Cubs win!!!!!’ I folded my hands in my lap and I closed my eyes. Then I thrust my arms in the air.
Dreams come true. Even for the Chicago kid a world away it was like I was right there. The W flew. And Harry said ‘Holy Cow’.”
Adam with his son…
American Professional Wrestler and Podcaster
World Wrestling Entertainment
“My parents both grew up on the North side of Chicago. My mother has been a die-hard Cubs fan for as long as I can remember. She would tell me stories of going to every Cubs game in 1969, sitting in the bleachers, the cheapest seat in town. The Cubs were a constant in my childhood because of my mom. The game was ALWAYS on. I’d come home from school everyday and my mom would be on the couch, watching the cubs. She could name the line ups from every generation of Cubs player. My whole life was hearing her disgust for the team, yet she always supported them. Always had the game on. Living in Chicago I really wanted the Cubs to win for my mom if nothing else. Instead of braving the madness of wrigleyville, I decided to venture back to the ‘burbs of Deerfield and hope for a victory with my 70 year old mother. The years of watching her watching the Cubs try and die every season, made this years World Series victory so cathartic for me.”
My mother, Dorothy DeNapoli, was born in 1919. From as far back as I can remember, she was a devoted Cubs fan. I distinctly remember when she took me to my first Cubs game against the St. Louis Cardinals. We sat directly behind the Cubs dugout. My eyes were wide open as the players acknowledged her by name. “Hi Dot”, “What’s going on Dorothy?”, “Beautiful day for a game!” She would reply, “This is my son Philip. He’s going to play for you some day.”
In the 1950s, when we went to games I met Phil Cavarretta, Dee Fondy, and her favorite Handsome Ransom Jackson. She never missed a Ladies’ Day game. Her brother, Bill Yacullo, who had played for the White Sox worked at the firehouse across the street.. He would walk us across the street to the games. Her father, Charlie Yacullo, was a very close friend of Pat Piper.
I went to St. Gertrude School in Rogers Park. Mom would put her ironing board up in front of our Philco 9″ TV ironing my shirts for school while watching the Cubs and listening to Jack Brickhouse and Vince Lloyd. But she didn’t just watch the baseball, she also would play. She would take me out in the alley and play catch with me until my uncle Bill got home from the firehouse and he’d take over. She even had her own mitt. She has followed her Cubs religiously her whole life and is the matriarch of a family of Cubs fans. Because of her, I played semi-pro baseball and in an Independent League in Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, and became a coach.
In 2016 she had a few health problems that glued her to her recliner. I would get a call every morning “Phil, what channel are the Cubs on today?” I’d tell her and her day was set. Either my brother or I went over to watch the game with her. She didn’t miss one game this year. At a family party celebrating the NLCS, she said, “If it wasn’t for my Cubs, I don’t think I would have made it. They made me want to live one more day. They’re my new Doctor.”
My 97-year-old mother’s wish finally came true and her Cubbies finally won the World Series. She called me the morning after Game 7 and had one request: To get her a Cubs World Champions shirt.
I am a lifelong Cubs fan born and raised in Chicago, who comes from a family of die hards who bleed Cubbie blue. Growing up, my dad, Yale Gordon, was Ernie Banks’ business manager/agent and one of his best friends for more than 30 years. I also helped with his speeches and events for a few years before he passed and my dad actually wrote many of his speeches, most notably when the Cubs retired Ernie’s number in 1983. I grew up with the Cubs, hanging in the dugouts, chilling with players and I had no idea how amazing that was until I was older. One of the coolest memories we have was when Ernie came to our hometown of Deerfield, IL and coached my brother’s little league game. We didn’t tell anyone he was coming and it was before cell phones, but word spread like wildfire. It is still legend in our town. My brother is now a season ticket holder as that was always one of his dreams.
Ernie use to always tell us that the Cubs would win the World Series one day, his passion and ‘hope’ was infectious. The last time I saw him before he passed away, he said “The Cubs will Reign Supreme in 2015.” Amazingly he was only one year off. I wish he could have seen it, it makes me cry every time I think of how excited he would have been. It is finally our year.
And the stories continue…Thank you Chicago Cubs! We love you!
Stay Tuned for Part Two!