So I spent Friday night and all day Saturday with Dad. Saturday afternoon was the Cubs/St. Louis game, and with the magic number of one, it was tough to tear me away from the television. We were watching the game on Fox, but listening on 720 a.m. to hear Pat Hughes call the game and Ron Santo suffer a near breakdown with each play. It's like listening to Shakespeare the way it was meant to be played.
As the clock nears 5, I'm in a quandary. Do I continue along my quest to be the dutiful daughter and accompany the family to church? (Yes, they go on Saturday night. Clears up Sundays for important things, like brunch.) Or do I stay home and watch the game?
These are the questions that haunt a Cubs fan, especially one who happens to be the daughter of Pat Bieritz, the most die-hard fan ever born. I thought to myself, WWMD?
And I came up with a solution. Thank God for a cell phone with an Internet connection! It's no iPhone, but I won't miss a play. So off we go.
Opening songs, prayer, welcome, it's all good ... I've got my trusty phone, so I'm following along. When it's the top of the ninth with two out, two of my sisters were looking over my shoulder to see what would happen. We were one out away from winning the NL Central. "We." As if I'm playing!
The pastor began his message when my hero, Kerry Wood, took the mound. I'm sweating in my seat. My boys have a one-run lead, and I am praying it's enough to win it.
It's tough to follow on this tiny screen, giving me itty-bitty details. St. Louis puts in a pinch hitter, Aaron Miles. I don' t know him, but I'm really glad we're not facing Pujols again. Crack (I pretend to hear, since I'm reading the stats on my phone) goes the bat as Miles flies into straightaway center, caught by Jim Edmonds.
At this point, everyone but Jenn, Kathie and I are listening to the pastor. And it is at this quiet time in the service that I lose my senses and shout, "Cubs Win!"
Every head turns in my direction. I'm a visitor here, can't they cut me some slack? A few laughs, a few cheers, a lot of strange looks.
But I don't care. Mom would have done the same thing, if she'd had the technology to do so. But instead, I'm pretty sure she, Bill Veeck and Steve Goodman were cheering from their vantage point in the heavenly equivalent of the Cubby Bear, singing "Go, Cubs, Go" with all their hearts.
Baseball is timeless. A great game at Wrigley feels like church to me. I belong to the church of baseball, I suppose. With apologies to Annie Savoy, I don't think it's a coincidence that there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. And every day from April through September, I thank God for this game.
On to the post season!