October 25-26, 2016- Back to Chicago for WS Games One & Two
Funny thing going through US Customs at LAX airport on Tuesday, I bumped into two other Aussie Chicago Cubs fans on their way to the World Series- Paul Wilkins of Melbourne and Dan Nancarrow of Brisbane. Both now have been featured in our blog about Aussies at the World Series on the Australian Baseball League’s website. Can’t wait to have a few beers with them at Murphy’s Bleachers before Game Three on Friday in Chicago.
Taking off on my connecting flight from LA to Chicago, had a chance to exchange a few texts with the Cubs hitting coach John Mallee at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Twenty-one years ago he coached my very first international touring baseball team to a win in Beijing, China. At that point our lives then diverged, mine to Australia and his to coach professionally in the minor leagues. Forget baseball, am grateful for his friendship that has stayed strong as our lives have gone through thick and thin. Seeing him in the World Series with the team that both our fathers taught us to cheer for, well that is the icing on the cake.
Getting into Chicago, seeing the familiar places, traveling to my parent’s house with my sister Heather and arriving within minutes of the first pitch of Game One…well it was all a bit of a blur. And the Cubs lost. Though Kluber was dealing for the Indians and the Cubs were still “selectively aggressive,”meaning they patiently stuck to the hitting approach that allowed them to set a record for most walks of any Cubs team since their inception in 1876.
My brother Scott pointed out that walk statistic on Wednesday, when the Cubs used the same approach this time to achieve a 5-1 victory in Game Two. But more importantly, when Scott arrived for a visit with his family from Germany…finally for the first time in many, many years my parents would have all three children sleep under their roof again. It was surreal, and very subtly one of the better nights of my life.
That is the power of sport to create shared, passionate memories that help bind us together.