Friday, October 16, 2015

The Cubs. The Mets.



Yesterday I got a call from my financial advisor, a mensch from the Windy City.

He called me because some funds I had purchased were coming due and he wanted my ok to repurchase said funds.

That's all well and good, but WOW! the Cubs had just defeated the Cards and would be playing either the Mets or the Dodgers for the National League pennant.

For those uninitiated in the woes of the North-Side Ursines, the Cubbies have not won a World Series since Teddy Roosevelt was President, way back in nine teen oh eight.

Back in 1969, the Cubs seemed ready to break their dreadful six decades of losing. They were leading the National League and seemed unstoppable. They also had Hall-of-Famers or HoF caliber players dotted through their line up.

Ernie Banks who amassed 512 lifetime four-baggers. Ron Santo, the best third baseman of his era. The quiet and powerful Billy Williams who swatted 426 homers in his career. They also had a good backstop, Randy Hundley and probably the league's best middle-infielders, Glenn Beckert at second and Don Kessinger at short.

On the hill they had the great Fergie Jenkins. And the nearly great Don Holtzman (a member of the Jewish Baseball Hall of Fame) and Bill Hands, who clocked 20 wins that season.

900 miles east, however, were Destiny's children, the Mets of New York, helmed by the quiet patience of Gil Hodges.

I was at the big ballpark as the Mets swept the Cubbies in a three-game set in late September. The Mets? Who in their previous seven seasons had finished last six times.

But the Mets went that year quickly from the "Amazins" to the "Inevitables."

They roundly kicked Chicago heinie.

And 55,000 New York accented hooligans, myself among them, derisively jeered the Cubs' manager--former manager of the Mets' predecessor teams, the Dodgers of Brooklyn and the Giants of Harlem: Leo Durocher.

We sang as the Mets rose and the Cubs sank, "Gooooooooooooooooodbye Leo, Goooooooooooodbye, Leo. Weeeeee hate to seeeeeeee you go."

The Mets won.

The Cubs lost.

And this year, they meet again.

Goodbye, Leo.

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