Well, here we are. Again. I was going to stop at 1989 (because I'm insolent) but I just can't seem to get past the 84 Cubs as my favorite team ever. Why? Well....
Bob Dernier. He's my favorite Cub. Ever. I know, I know... I like to keep the bar nice and low. 84 was his best full season. He was a marvel to watch in CF and I swear, every single home run I saw him hit barely made it into the basket. He was a joy to watch on the bases too. It certainly didn't hurt that I played CF in those days and was also fast. I do suspect, however, that I had more power.
Ryne Sandberg. I don't think I have to go on about how good he was in 84. You all know it already. Let me just summarize by saying "teh ablls."
Steve Trout. I'm not really sure why. He had a pretty good season, but nothing spectacular. But I always seemed to catch him pitching. He was money in the postseason though. And he was lefty. I always wanted to be a lefty. Maybe that's it.
Rick Sutcliffe. Who didn't imitate his pitching motion? If you lived in Chicago you did. 16-1 (20-6 overall) it was the best season I had ever seen. In fact, it was the best season a cub pitcher tossed until Prior's 2003 (how Kevin Tapani went 19-9 is beyond my mere mortal comprehension). He was the greatest Cub pitcher I saw until Z showed up. Plus now he's golfing with Bill Murray and helping George Clooney solve that thing over there.
Jody Davis. Jody Davis was an average catcher with a girls name. But he gave my little brother a bat he cracked in BP. Nice gestures like that will get you a spot on my list.
Lee Smith. For the life of me, I can't figure out why they let him go. So help me if you try to make me remember I'll put a plague on both your houses! Lee was the best closer in the game. He was intimidating on a Dave Stewart level. You don't see that much anymore. Batters don't like to face certain closers, but they aren't afraid of them like hitters were with Lee Smith. He would slowly saunter to the mound and make the batter sweat the at bat before the at bat even started. It was grin inducing.
Harry Caray. Who didn't love his calls? He was the last voice of the fan. You can't find a game called like he called them. It was validating to know that I had some of the same opinions as someone who had bbeen in the game for a long, long time. Now if you rip a team or player on the air, they boot you off the charter or threaten you in an elevator. I miss him. I miss him more than I curse him for marking Chip Caray possible. Sometimes, your mic is best left in your pants.
Wrigley Field. The best place to catch a game. Fuck the stereotypes. Cub fans, real Cub fans, can hold their ground versus any other group of fans. They are just as knowledgeable and probably more passionate. It's a time warp watching a game there. You can almost picture it being 1908. It's the same stadium my grandparents went to. Screw the new stadiums and their sushi and concourses and malls. this is where baseball should be played. I saw my favorite game there (not in 1984 though. It was at 8/8/88. Yes my favorite attended game was 3.5 innings long).
So I'm calling it quits at 1984 again. TW-Gone. James Westfall-Gone. 3968 posts in the books. Maybe I'll get to end my next career at 2007. If not, there's always next year.