Friday, August 3, 2007
Raise the Flag
Above the scoreboard at historic Wrigley Field fly flags.
They indicate the National League standings: in East, Central, West; each on its respective pole.
In 1984, the Cubs were chasing New York's Mets. A hated rival, we finally caught them about this time of year. I was at the early August game when the two teams matched up. Our Cubs won to topple the division leaders and take sole possession of 1st. They never looked back.
After the game no one would leave. For maybe 10, 15 minutes a full house stayed in place waiting, watching. Then it happened. The pennants came down, and shortly thereafter were raised again. This time with the Cubs' herald atop. A raucous response eminated from the celebratory crowd.
For some time over the last weeks, the Cubs have been on the chase. Not only have fans followed the games of their favorite home town team, but those of the Milwaukee Brewers, also. Two nights ago, I was there. With a win over the Phillies and a Milwaukee loss (ironically to the detestable Mets), the Cubs completed the climb to overcome the Brew Crew by a lone percentage point in winning percentage.
The fans were excited and hardly anyone left. A ninth inning rally brought in the winning run and led the Cubs to victory. We sang and celebrated. Not as many stayed around beyond the 9th as 23 years ago. But the mindful remained in expectation. Then, there it was. A thing of heavenly beauty. After that game, our flag arose, now where it belonged.
Today the Cubs play those Mets. Beating them back would only be added joy!