As Chicago Cubs fans, what can we be grateful for this holiday season? Here, one writer offers up his views on why he is thankful to be a Cubs fan in 2019.
Thanksgiving time is here, and as always, I feel like there’s a lot to be thankful for this year. Even though there are a lot of things in life that are more important than baseball, this is a Chicago Cubs website, after all. And as a Cubs fan, I feel like there’s a lot I have to be thankful for in that regard as well.
2019 marks 25 years for me being a Cubs fan, and I feel like I’ve seen just about everything that the fan of a sports team can see. I’ve seen the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and everything in between. 1994 was my first year following the team, and the Cubs were bad that year. But even worse, the players’ strike ended the season early, teaching me an early lesson that following any sports team would not be easy.
Still, I’m thankful for all the memories I have of following the team over the past quarter-century. I’m thankful for all those childhood days in the mid-1990s when I would get to come home from school and catch Harry Caray and Steve Stone call most of the Cubs’ afternoon game on WGN.
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I’m thankful for 1998, when I got my first taste of winning and I got to witness the epic home run chase featuring Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. I’m thankful for all the memories of 2003, 2007, and 2008, though Chicago came up short in the postseason each year.
And every other year has its own memories, though in many cases they aren’t quite as pleasant. In addition, the lean years help me to appreciate the winning even more when it happens.
As fans, we should feel especially grateful for the streak of success we’ve seen over the past five years: five straight winning seasons, four playoff appearances, and a championship in 2016.
As we’ve witnessed teams like the Astros, Dodgers, and Yankees fall short so often in the playoffs in recent years, we should appreciate just how hard it is to win a championship and the fact that our team has been able to do it at least once.
I’m thankful for all the memories I have of going to Chicago Cubs games at Wrigley Field and on the road. I attended my first game in 1996, and though the Cubs lost, I got to see Ryne Sandberg hit a home run. My luck has turned since then, however, as I currently am on an eight-game Wrigley Field win streak.
Beyond everything that I’ve mentioned above, I’m thankful for the fact that baseball has always been there, through both the best and the worst seasons of my life. No matter what was going on, the Cubs have been a diversion for me, whether it’s watching the game in the middle of summer or keeping up on the latest news in the middle of winter. I try not to lose sight of the fact that it’s something fun to do. And for that, I will always be grateful.