When I was around 6 years old, my Dad took me to Atlanta to see my first Cubs game. The year after he took my brother, Jason and I, to see the Cubs play in Philadelphia. There are a few memories from these trips that I’ll always remember vividly:
- Atlanta: During BP, a ball landed in the seats near us. Dad picked it up and I had my first major league ball.
- Philadelphia: We made the trip in his Volkswagen Rabbit. During the trip home, it poured down rain. The Rabbit developed some serious leakage in the backseat and Jason/I were seriously entertained catching the water in plastic cups.
- Both trips: How badly I wanted to the Cubs to win.
Sometime shortly before these trips, I had started watching the Cubs on WGN and had fallen in love with them. At that time, the Braves were on TBS, the Cubs on WGN and those were basically the 2 choices if you didn’t have a local team. I didn’t really understand the curse of the billy goat or how badly Cubs fans wanted and needed a World Series.
After those first trips, there have been many more trips to Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington, Miami and Denver to see the Cubs play. I’ve been to many games with both of my brothers (who are also Cubs fans), my Dad, my Uncle, Phi, and many friends. I’ve been to playoff games, even saw the Cubs clinch a playoff series in Atlanta and watched Bonds and Sosa homer in the same game. But never anything like today.
As I grew up, the Cubs winning a World Series quickly became the most important thing in sports to me.
So, it still feels a little surreal that they won this year. I missed watching in the States with other Cubs fans and definitely missed the opportunity to be in Chicago; however, I wouldn’t trade the experience of watching game 7 in Korea with Phi yesterday for anything. Once the 8th inning came around, she was as engaged and nervous as me.
First, I wasn’t even sure how I was going to watch the game, just that I was going to watch it. Streaming on the computer was the last resort. Other options were to watch at a bar, but we couldn’t find any open that early. Jae Young had told us that the games were on a premium cable TV channel in Korea, but since it was an additional channel we figured our Airbnb wouldn’t have it. Amazingly, the game was on Korean cable TV and started at 9 AM local time. The next 5 hours were some of the most agonizing and enjoyable hours of my life. So many ups and downs. When the rain came, my biggest fear was that the game would be suspended until tomorrow. Phi and I had a DMZ tour scheduled and didn’t want to miss it. Thankfully, Zobrist and Montero delivered and Mike Montgomery (as everyone expected) recorded the last out to end 108 years of waiting,
Phi and I went for a hike after the game ended and quite a few people noticed our hats and shirt and said congratulations or go Cubs!
Many Cubs fans never got to experience today, but I hope somewhere they know it finally happened. For those Cubs fans that did get to enjoy it…celebrate hard. Let’s hope it’s only 1 year until it happens again.