Game One goes Tuesday night at Progressive Field for the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Jon Lester for the Cubbies versus Corey Kluber of the Tribe.
Holy cow! If only Harry Caray were alive to see this. The two most cursed franchises in baseball, with the two longest world championship droughts, go at it for the title — Cleveland since 1948, the Cubs since 1908.
How long ago was 1908? So long ago that the NBA, NHL and even the NFL weren’t created yet! I mean, it was before World War I. Think about it.
Speaking of 1908, that was the year the Cubs beat the New York Giants for the pennant because of “Merkle’s Boner” — when the Giants’ Fred Merkle failed to touch second base on his way home and ended up being called out in a game with the Cubs, costing the Giants a sure victory and ultimately the pennant. The Cubs wouldn’t have been Champions in 1908 if it wasn’t for Merkle. It was a debacle that sort of repeated itself with the Steve Bartman fan-interference disaster in 2003 at Wrigley Field. Could we be in store for something similarly bizarre in this World Series?
It’s almost too bad one of these teams, the Indians or Cubs, has to lose. But before you feel too badly for the losing fan base, keep in mind — Cleveland fans have already celebrated a world title with the Cavs, plus they also won a Calder Cup with the Lake Erie Monsters, so they’ve already had their share of celebrating this year alone. As for the Cubs, their fans also cheer for the Chicago Blackhawks who’ve won three Stanley Cups this decade, so I wouldn’t feel sorry for them in the least if they lose.
These franchises may be long suffering, but not their fan bases. Sports fans in Cleveland and Chicago have had more than enough to cheer about in recent years.