Cubs fever broke out on the City Council floor Tuesday just hours before the National League champs tried to force a deciding Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians and capture their first World Series title since 1908.
It started with the rabbi who delivered the invocation — and gave Mayor Rahm Emanuel a Cubbie blue yarmulke with the Cubs logo.
It ended with Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), whose ward includes Wrigley Field, interrupting when the clerk called “Unfinished Business,” before reading legislation introduced by aldermen.
“We have unfinished business to do in Cleveland. I just want to put that into the record,” Tunney said.
Ald. James Cappleman, from the neighboring 46th Ward, added: “Our prayers are with the Cubs.”
Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke (14th), a die-hard Sox fan, then broke out into song.
“Hey-hey, Holy Mackerel. No doubt about it. The Cubs are on their way,” Burke sang.
After seemingly struggling with the lyrics, Burke said, “Excuse me if I’m not too good a cappella.”
When the city clerk finally got around to reading the introductions, it included a proposal from Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) to name a street near “Little Cubs Field,” the Wrigley Field replica in Humboldt Park, in honor of Cubs super-utility man Javier Baez.
Maldonado said the idea originated with his 11-year-old son, who plays Little League baseball in Humboldt Park and is proud that the Cubs have a budding super-star known for his lightning quick swipe tags who was born in Puerto Rico.
“He’s Puerto Rican. Humboldt Park has always been known as a park visited mostly by Puerto Ricans traditionally. That’s why Javier Baez and not anybody else. I don’t have anything against any of the [other] Latino players. But, I also happen to be Puerto Rican and that’s why we wanted to pay this tribute,” the alderman said.
Baez was named most valuable player during a National League Championship Series that served as his coming-out party on the national stage.
But since then, he has come back down to earth. After moving up in the batting order, Baez has returned to his old habit of swinging at pitches way out of the strike zone.
Honorary street designations are normally reserved for people with a lifetime of achievements.
Asked Tuesday what Baez has done to deserve the honor, Maldonado said, “I’m not an expert as a baseball player. I don’t think you are neither. This is just something that we want to do and show our pride.”
If the full Council approves, the honorary street designation would be affixed to the west side of Luis Munoz Marin Drive, between Sacramento and Division.
The street is permanently named for the the first elected governor of Puerto Rico.