As Cubs fans know, it’s always darkest just before the dawn

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

I became a Cubs fan when I was around six years old.  I remember watching the Boys of Summer on FOX/WGN on Saturday afternoons in 1989.  My favorite players ended up becoming Hall of Famers – second baseman Ryne Sandberg and outfielder Andre Dawson.  They were managed by Don Zimmer, who had the nickname Popeye.  I can’t forget about other great players like first baseman Mark Grace, starting pitcher Rick Sutcliffe, catcher Joe Girardi and Hall of Fame starting pitcher Greg Maddux.

They were certainly fun to watch.  They ended up with a 93-69 record that year which culminated in the  National League East division title.  (Back then, baseball only had four divisions). Unfortunately, they fell short of the World Series by nearly being swept by the San Francisco Giants, four games-to-one.

That’s when my love affair with the Cubs began. They were our local team.  This meant I was able to watch every game.  In an era before cable television, the internet or social media, this was very important.  I loved how they played in an older ballpark and Wrigley Field looked special with the ivy-covered brick outfield wall and the iconic green scoreboard.  Harry Caray and Steve Stone called the ball games and they seemed to work so well with one another.

I hold on to these memories because they are some of my earliest.  Also, because they had a really good team that year. I would have to say this would be one of those “peaks” in my life as a baseball fan.

Sadly, we also have to endure the valleys.  As a reader on a site dedicated to the Cubs, you already know about the memorable events that help shaped the narrative around this organization as the Lovable Losers. There have been more bad seasons of baseball than good.  For decades, you could bet on the Cubs fielding just two or three good teams a decade (while ultimately falling short in the postseason).

Cubs: We’ve seen the mountaintop and are, once again, in a valley

The Chicago Cubs are coming off one of the greatest stretches of baseball we have ever witnessed on the North Side.  In six seasons, between 2015-2020, they won 505 out of 871 games.  That is a winning percentage of .579.  To put that in perspective, this organization has had a .513 winning percentage over 147 seasons.

During that amazing stretch, the Cubs entered the postseason five of those six seasons and won that long coveted World Series title in 2016.  We all know that is no small feat considering none of us were alive when they last won their championship way back in 1908.

Most of those players are no longer with the team.  At times this year, it’s been hard to watch the product that is on the field.  We have experienced a peak in our baseball fandom as far as the Cubs are concerned.  Last year, we witnessed the descent and, once again, entered a valley with a 71-91 record.  It’s not getting any better as our boys in blue pinstripes are 23-32 in the first 55 games.

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The Cubs have entered a valley.  However, we need to believe that Jed Hoyer, one of the architects of that 2016 championship, will bring us back to the mountaintop.  The promising prospects will continue to make their slow ascent into the big leagues.  The billionaire owner/chairman, Tom Ricketts, will once again spend money wisely on top talent.  We will see a winning team at Wrigley Field again.  It may not happen today or tomorrow, but it will happen again soon.  Wait until next year was a slogan I remembered as a kid.  I will continue to believe we will see another championship in our lifetime.