On 8 August 1988, the Chicago Cubs played their first night game at Wrigley Field. The Tribune rounds up memories from people who supported and opposed the installation of lights at the park:
Ryne Sandberg, Cubs second baseman, 1982-1997: Leading up to ’88, the talk within the organization was that lights were necessary to create a schedule more conducive to resting the home team, getting us out of the sun. Before that, with some of those 10-day homestands with all day games (it was) in 90-plus temperatures.
Rick Sutcliffe, Cubs pitcher, 1984-1991: There's nothing better than playing a day game and going home to have dinner with your family. But when you come back from a West Coast trip, and let’s say you had a long game … sometimes we went straight from the airport to the ballpark. It’s really difficult that whole homestand. You just feel wiped out. … I would throw nine innings at Dodger Stadium and might lose anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds. There were times at Wrigley Field during that heat that I lost 10 to 15 pounds. I would love to go start a game to lose 15 right now!
Did lights help the Cubs? Probably; but there's no definitive way to say.
It's the 99th day of 2018, and I'm looking out my office window at 25 mm of snow on the ground. It was -7°C on Saturday and -6°C last night. This isn't April; it's February. Come on, Chicago.
The Cubs' home opener originally scheduled for today will be played tomorrow. This is the second time in my memory that the home opener got snowed out. I didn't have tickets to today's game, but I did have tickets to the game on 15 April 1994, which also got snowed out.
(Cubs official photo.)
Because it's Chicago. (Actually, there's a blocking mass of warm air to the east of us causing a bulge in the polar jet stream and pushing cool Canadian air down into the U.S. That sort of thing feels really nice in July; not so much in April.)
I made sure to take a photo of this while walking home from dinner last night:
But, really, the sign should now say AC000101. Because the Cubs lost the playoffs. Again.
Well, that's it for the Cubs this year.
I haven't actually seen the Anno Catuli sign this season. If they haven't changed it to reflect last night's horrible loss to the Dodgers, I'll try to get a snap of it reading AC0000000. But officially, today, the Cubs have gone one year from their last World Series and pennant wins.
Fans are still in denial. But an 11-1 loss looks to me like the old Cubs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago has some epic binge drinking:
The data looked at the 500 largest cities in the country, split into more than 28,000 smaller areas. Large swaths of Lake View ranked in the top 1 percent for binge drinking nationally in 2014, the most recent year data were available.
The CDC estimates that in some parts of Lake View, more than a third of residents are engaged in binge drinking, which is defined as more than five drinks at a time for men and four drinks for women.
The CDC’s new local data fits in with what researchers have previously found about drinking at the state level. In 2014, 20 percent of Illinois adults reported binge drinking, compared to 16 percent nationally.
If you've ever seen Wrigleyville after a Cubs game, none of this would surprise you.
You couldn't script the game better: tied at 6 going into the 9th, then the 10th, then a rain delay, then a 2-run homer top of 10 followed by a nail-biting run and out to end the game. The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. And Chicago went nuts.
There are, as you can imagine, a ton of stories about it. The best I thought came from the Guardian, but of course the Chicago Tribune, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Chicago Public Media all had things to say. And let's not forget the Onion.
The New York Times explained how the Cubs did it. Crain's Chicago Business said the curse is finally dead. And the Washington Post provided context around how the world has changed since 1908.
AdWeek highlighted a Nike commercial that aired right after the final out. Crain's reported that the game had the highest ratings of any baseball game since 1991, and the highest-rated sporting event in Chicago history, with 40 million people watching.
DNAInfo chuckled that more people called in sick today than usual (myself included). We'll probably miss some more work tomorrow because of the parade, which starts at Wrigley Field and ends at Grand Park. Metra, our local heavy-rail system, is throwing every locomotive and rail car they have into the morning commute and tossing their schedules tomorrow, and asking people to work from home if they can.
It was an incredible night. I'm still amazed and agog. And hung over—but that's another story.
I'm having trouble typing these words: The Cubs have won the World Series.
I'm sure I'll have more to say later.
But: the Cubs have won the World Series.
Where do you go from there? A woman president, maybe?
I hope against all the evidence I see that 2016 isn't the best year of my life. And I will sweat day and night to ensure this is merely the landing on the staircase.
Meanwhile, my neighborhood is all sirens and shouting, so...I'll leave the wordsmithing until later.
But the Cubs have won the World Series.
The World Series.
I don't even know what to do with that fact yet.
The Cubs' World Series Game 7 tonight in Cleveland may be "the biggest game in Chicago sports history," according to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. I agree.
But still, I'm trying to maintain perspective:
- This is the only the second time in franchise history they've played in November. Last night was the first.
- They won the National League pennant after a 71-year drought. That's not trivial.
- If Cleveland wins, maybe they'll be so happy there it will tip Ohio into Hillary Clinton's column.
- They have played some amazing baseball during this series, and during this season.
- They'll be back next year.
So let's see what happens. And go, Cubs, go!
Here's hoping for a Game 7.