Corey and his Cubs

Like most kids that grow up in Illinois, I was introduced to the Cubs by a family member.  My earliest Cubs memory is my Grandpa coming over to our house on afternoons in the summer to watch the Cubs.  It was 1985 and I liked to see the Cubbies win, but I didn’t fully grasp what was going on.  The next year, I would race home from school in the spring, hoping to catch the last Ryne Sandberg or Leon Durham at bat. 

I only got to enjoy a few seasons with my Grandpa, as he passed away in the fall of ’86.  At that point, I was on my own in the family as a Cubs fan.  My Dad’s side of the family were all White Sox fans since my Great-Grandfather played minor league ball for the Sox.  In those days, my brother was a Cardinals fan.  He later landed with the White Sox.  My Mom liked the Cubs, but wasn’t really a fan.  She grew up listening to the Cubs with my Grandfather.  She didn’t know Ron Santo by any other name than “That Damn Ron Santo” and she thought the announcers were supposed to say “no hits, no runs, no errors” after every Cubs half-inning. 

My first Cubs game was on August 8, 1990.  The two year anniversary of the first night game at Wrigley.  Until then, I had only been to Peoria Chiefs (Class A Affiliate) games.  I saw Mark Grace and Joe Girardi play for the Chiefs in the mid 80’s.  My first game at Wrigley though, was a 15 inning marathon vs. the Cardinals.  I think the score was 4-3 and the Cubs won on an RBI single by Andre Dawson.  I was not able to go to another Cubs game at Wrigley until last June.  However, while I lived in Southern California, I was able to see the Cubs play at Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium.  I also saw a spring training practice and game when I lived in Arizona.  It was at a spring training practice, that I was able to reach through a chain link fence and touch Ryne Sandberg’s jersey as he sat on the bench.  He was on staff as a coach during spring training.  That pathetic display was probably the highlight of my Cubs fandom.

I can’t even begin to summarize my life as a Cubs fan.  I’m sure you all went through the good times and bad times the same time that I did.  Of course the obvious years, 1989, 1998 and 2003 stand out.  The repeated collapse of the Cubs has partially defined who I am as a person.  My favorite Cub is Ryne Sandberg.  In little league, I played second base and my batting stance was identical to Ryno.  I can’t really say that I have a current favorite Cub.  I’ve always liked Matt Murton (though he is not in the Bigs right now) and I couldn’t help but like Ryan Theriot after last year.  I’ve found that it’s harder to have a favorite player in the day of free-agency.  I don’t like Aramis Ramirez and a few of the other writers on here can testify that he could go 4-4 with 4 home runs and I would complain about his performance.   

So that’s my story.  As I said before, I would imagine it is a story that is quite common from Cubs fans in the Midwest.  I am eager to hear the other writers tell their stories.  I hope you find Ivy Envy to be interesting and entertaining.  Check on it often and tell your friends about it. 

 

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