Ron Santo is joining Cub teammates Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins in baseball's Hall of Fame. He was elected by the Veteran's Committee in so-called Golden Era (1947-72) balloting announced Monday morning.
103 years ago on this date in 1908, the Chicago Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers, 2-0, winning the World Series 4 games to 1, for their last championship.
1908 Chicago Cubs
Also on this date, 8 years ago in 2003, only five outs away from their first World Series since 1945, the Chicago Cubs melted down in the eighth inning of Game Six against the Florida Marlins, giving up 8 runs in a loss to the Marlins. Steve Bartman was at the game.
Cubs players, coaches, and management expressed disbelief Thursday, questioning whether they were out of their minds for participating in another Major League Baseball season.
"Why the hell are we still putting ourselves through this?" left fielder Alfonso Soriano said during an Opening Day press conference, adding that no one on the team has ever been happy at the end of the season, during the season, or at the beginning of the season, which, according to Soriano, is when everyone actually feels the most hopeless. "We just have to admit to ourselves that the Chicago Cubs should not be playing in a professional baseball league. Can we all just do that and put an end to this misery?"
[Cubs' Manager Mike] Quade added that even if the Cubs were to somehow make the World Series, they would inevitably lose in a devastating fashion that would physically and emotionally destroy anyone associated with the team in any way for decades to come.
"There's nothing I can do as a manager that's going to make a difference," said Quade, who in between hitting ground balls to his infielders could be heard mumbling, "I hate my life." "Christ, am I really about to put myself through six excruciating months of tinkering with batting orders and pitching rotations as if we have a serious shot of ending a century of mediocrity? It's fucked up, but the answer is yes. And hearing myself say that makes me feel like I'm having a massive anxiety attack."
"Every time I walk out to the mound I just assure the guys that at least we will all be dead eventually," Quade continued.
I don't care what The Onion thinks, The North Side Juggernaut will go 158-4 in 2011.
Legendary Chicago Cubs player and broadcaster Ron Santo died Thursday night in Arizona. He was 70.
"We were together for so long," said a mournful Billy Williams, who played alongside Santo for many years. "We formed a bond. It's just like losing a brother."
Though Santo never made the Hall of Fame, his number was retired by the Cubs. He said that was equivalent to being inducted in Cooperstown. Being a Cub, and playing at Wrigley Field, meant the world to Santo.
"When I got here, two years after my senior year, I'm walking out of the corner clubhouse with Ernie Banks and there's nobody in the stands, and the feeling I had was unbelievable -- walking with Ernie and walking on that grass," he said. "I felt like I was walking on air. There was an electricity and an atmosphere that I'd never experienced in my life. Any ballplayer that's ever played here can tell you about that great atmosphere, and anybody who's come here to watch a game feels the exact same way."
The Chicago Sun-Times Rick Morrissey has a humorous column today, where he writes: (emphasis added)
... any story about hope and the Cubs is a story about a historical record that recommends proceeding in an orderly fashion to the lifeboats.... Do you think the Cubs will win a World Series in your lifetime or anybody else's?
If you answered yes, the natural companion question is: Why in the world would you think that?
[Cub fans] don't have anything but hope, which makes you like fans of most other teams. But many of those fans at least can point to a championship team somewhere in their past and say: ''There. That's why I believe. I know what it takes for my team to win. I've witnessed it or my parents witnessed it. It can be done again.''
A Cubs fan only can tell you how it feels to pick at scabs.
Asking a Cubs fan why he continues to support the team is like asking a table leg why it supports the table. It just does.
Yesterday's 6-0 Chicago Cubs' win over the Pirates was the team's 82nd "W" of the 2009 campaign, ensuring a winning season for just the 18th time since 1960 for the North Siders.
The Cubs finished over .500 for the season in 1963, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1984, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2009 (in 1977, they finished 81-81).
It is the 10th plus-.500 record for the ball club since 1989, and the seventh in the last 11 years. The last time the Cubs were on a streak like this was when they had seven plus-.500 seasons for the ten seasons between 1963-1972.