Urgently I check my phone, to afar it may seem like I am addicted to my iPhone from how frequently I check it, a sigh deprives from my throat as I put my phone back in my pocket. The score has remained the same, my beloved Cubs still trailing. Finally, a friend asks me, “So, how did you become a Cubs fan in the first place?”. To many, it may seem odd that someone who lives over 3500km away, become such a diehard fan of that team. But that was exactly what happened in the summer of ’08.
During this period, as so many young kids do, I started to fall in love with sports. Recently I had started to worship my Dad’s favourite teams, the Seahawks and Canucks. However, he did not have a baseball team he specifically followed. Over the summer, I noticed our cable subscription carried a local Chicago channel WGN, which I later learned was famous for playing Cubs games. I tuned into my first Cubs game that summer, and was instantly hooked. The ivy on the outfield wall, the famous green scoreboard out in centre, the history of the team, and the “Wrigley Field Home of Chicago Cubs” marquee all toyed the baseball heartstrings of a impressionable ten year old.
To many casual sports fans the names, Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden, may not ring a bell. But they were both critical pieces to me becoming a Cubs fan. Being from the lower mainland, I was awestruck when a couple local BC boys were both crucial pieces to the Cubs rotation. Of course, in hindsight the A’s robbed the Cubs in that Harden trade, as my Cubbies traded away future all star Josh Donaldson. However, at the time I didn’t care, and vividly remember singing while in the shower, “The Cubs are living the Rich life, Oh yeah! Living the Rich life on top of the NL Central!”, while the Cubs were on top of the division.
I appreciate my parents for starting to follow my new favourite team with me, and taking trips to Southern California and Arizona to watch the Cubs. Walking in Petco Park in San Diego, wearing my Giovanni Soto #18 jersey, I couldn’t stop smiling and remember running down to watch Derek Lee, Soto, Aramis Ramirez, and Kosuke Fukudome take batting practice. Of course that smile was quickly replaced with tears, as I learned how hard it was to be a Cubs fan; leading 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs blew the lead, and ended up losing 4-1. I recall walking out of the stadium in tears, devastated that they ended up blowing the lead.
So, in response to my friend, “That is why I bleed Cubbie blue”. While reaching for my pocket to refresh the score of the game.