Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I Can Say I Was (Almost) There

Last Saturday, I had a brilliant social idea. I would take my friends up to Wrigleyville on the North Side for dinner while the Cubs played Game 4 of the NLDS against the Braves. That way, I would be there when they clinched, and the neighborhood began to party like it was 1908 again (the last time the Cubbies took a postseason series of any kind).

Score was tied 1-1 as the elevated train pulled into the station, giving me my first sight of Wrigley Field. It's right there when you step off the train, open to the side so you can see right onto the field, sidewalk running next to the massive concrete and brick bleachers. You could hear the fans as the Cubs outfield recorded another out.

Then someone homered, and it was 3-1 Braves. I took my friends down Clark Street to a decent Mexican restaurant. A television updated us on the worsening score, till it was 6-2 in the 8th inning. I polished off three enchiladas with a hot pepper sauce (wishing I had tried the also-traditional Mole sauce). A few more of us arrived as Eric Karros sent a pitch deep into the Wrigley stands.

The newcomers got carryout as consecutive doubles brought the Cubs back to 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth. Two outs, Kenny Lofton on second, Sammy Sosa at bat. There was the pitch, the crack of the bat, Sammy's traditional home-run skip, and we all knew the game was tied. I cheered wildly, only to see the ball drop prematurely out of the sky, right to the center fielder. Game over, Cubs lose.

I had a nice time with my buddies in that neighborhood, but I didn't get to witness the "Cubs Win!" party. That was delayed till Sunday, when Kerry Wood shut down the Braves 5-1. Apparently it was wild up in Wrigleyville that night. Oh well.

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