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Fountain: ‘Tears in Mudville … Cubby tears in heaven’

Pitcher Jon Lester holds the Commissioner's Trophy as he celebrates with Cubs' teammates during a rally honoring the World Series champions at Grant Park on Friday. Photo by Nam Y. Huh, AP.

There will be tears in Mudville. If the Cubbies win tonight. The fans will cry. As the Ws fly. And we paint the town Cubby blue.

That old goat will die. And the ghost of Bartman lie at rest. The wretched curse — and years of insults and scorn — finally entombed.

There will be tears in heaven. If the Cubbies win tonight. Where Banks and Santo, Caray and Brickhouse’s eyes will burn red with champagne.

And the host of heaven shall all rejoice. That after 108 years, Da Cubs are world champs again.

OPINION

Yes, there will be tears in Mudville. And in heaven. If the Cubbies win tonight. And the wearied souls of the young and old who loved our team so dear. Through every heartache, through every season of heartbreak, will simply stand and cheer.

There will be tears in Mudville…

It all began long ago for me. That day when Cubby love was born. “Leadoff Man” at 1 p.m. With Jack Brickhouse at the horn.

“Hey! Hey!” for a home run. Baseball was so much fun. On schooldays, if I ran home, I could catch the game with Mama, before all was said and done.

Pepitone and Kessinger, Cardenal, Holtzman and Jenkins were All-Stars in my eyes. But Billy Williams and Ernie Banks made the long ball kiss the sky.

I can’t remember the day I first set foot in Wrigley Field. First laid eyes on its emerald and eternal vines. Inhaled the scent of a warm ballpark hotdog and ice-cold beer. Heard the crowd roar at the same time.

Or the first moment I eyed the giant green scoreboard. Heard the blare: “Peeeea-nuts!” “Crack-errrr Jack!” Or stood anxiously in the concessions line. The memories drift, like a summer breeze, blowing gently through my mind.

I do remember the sense that at Wrigley time just stood still. That baseball was a sport you could feel. That it was transcendent, incomparable. And the air inside Wrigley surreal.

That beyond its gates the world could come crashing down. But within the Friendly Confines stood a haven. One team. One town.

It was not that “North Side” team for this West Side kid. No boundaries to obscure our romance.

No geographical, class or racial divides, in my eyes. No black or white, only Cubby Blue. One team.

One dance. And someday our chance…

There will be tears in Mudville…

After nearly 50 years, I kept the faith. “This is our year,” I would always say.

“If not this year, then next year,” the Cubs faithful would declare, believing our team would find a way, someday. And we would all stand and cheer.

But when our World Series dream finally came to town this year, we found our team down 3-1. And the pundits all seemed to suggest our Cubbies were most completely done. But the Cubby faithful chose to believe, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” That maybe our time had come.

So when our Cubbies forced a Game 7, we knew we stood a chance. And when we took a 5-1 lead in the fifth, our hearts began to dance.

But when Cleveland homered to tie in the eighth, well, I could have messed my pants.

Nerves frayed, anticipation ran molasses thick. But in the bottom of the ninth, I felt almost sick.

Then in the 10th came the rain. Falling from the heavens, like the tears of 108 years. Of joy and pain. The embodiment of all our hopes and fears. A rain-delay to baptize a new day.

Cubs win! Cubs win! Final score: 8-7.

And there are tears in Mudville. There are Cubby tears in heaven.

Email: Author@Johnwfountain.com

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