Chicago Cubs fight towards a World Series victory


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

The Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber high fives his team during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sept. 12 at Citizens Bank Park.

Katlynn Whitaker, Photography Editor

The year was 2003.

I was eight years old, and had just started the third grade. I sat in my living room with my family, wearing my Wrigley Field t-shirt and flipping through my baseball card album with the Sammy Sosa card in the top left corner.

It was Game Six of the National League Championship Series. My family’s beloved Chicago Cubs were playing the Florida Marlins and winning 3-0. It was the top of the eighth inning, and they were five outs away from a spot in the 2003 World Series.

I couldn’t contain my excitement as Luis Castillo of the Marlins got up to bat. He hit the ball, and as it drifted into foul territory I was sure that Cubs left fielder Moises Alou would catch it, bringing the Cubs one out closer to the Series.

Instead, I watched in terror as the arm of fan Steve Bartman reached out to catch the ball, deflecting it away from Alou, who angrily threw down his glove. The Marlins went on to score eight runs, winning the game and eventually the NL Championship.

The umpires ruled that Bartman did nothing wrong, but that night he became the scapegoat for the Cubs’ downfall against the Marlins, and remains a scapegoat today. Meanwhile, the Cubs’ World Series drought dragged on. The team has not won a World Series since 1908.

You heard me right—1908. My father has always said that being a Cubs fan builds character and patience, and to say that we have been waiting a long time for a victory is an understatement.

But this year might be different.

The 2015 season began with a newly renovated Wrigley Field and a new manager to complement it. Joe Maddon was hired in November 2014 and proved to be a perfect fit for this underdog team.

Combine Maddon with this season’s superstars including Jake Arrieta, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber, and you have a perfect package of teamwork and pure Cubbie camaraderie.

The Cubs finished the regular season in third place of the National League Central Division, but beat the second place Pirates for the Wild Card spot on Oct. 7. They went on to play their longtime rivals, the first-place St. Louis Cardinals, losing the first game but winning the second and third games.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the Cubs and Cardinals played their fourth game at Wrigley Field. I was driving back to Marywood with my father and sister where we had the game on the radio the entire ride.

This memory I will cherish, because as we pulled into the parking lot, the Cubs’ Hector Rondon struck out the Cardinals’ Stephen Piscotty. The Cubs won the division series, and they are now moving on in their quest for a World Series win. The Cubs now play the New York Mets in the NLCS, and if they clinch the pennant there, it is officially World Series time.

Could this be the year? It’s time for Cubs fans to buckle their seatbelts and find out.

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