WAIW Cubs Blog Roundtable, Week 15: Those Were the Days ...

Friday, July 3, 2009

WAIW Cubs Blog Roundtable, Week 15: Those Were the Days ...

. Friday, July 3, 2009

We at WAIW are lucky enough to be acquainted with the operators of a bunch of excellent Cubs blogs. Every Friday throughout the 2009 season, we're going to bring as many of them as we can together to share their thoughts on being Cubs fans. This week - the greatest games of our respective lives. This is going to give me a chance to embrace my nerdy love of Baseball-Reference, a site on which I already spend far too much time crapping around:

We've all got that one Cubs game that we reflect back on when times get difficult (i.e. - getting shut out by Pittsburgh). For me, it's this game. I'd just come back to Chicago after my first post-college job, it was a beautiful game, and the Cubs beat the Cardinals in 10. So what if they sucked like holy hell that year? Who cares if the hero of the day was some schlub named Phil Nevin? When people ask me about my favorite games, that's always the one that comes to mind right away. Seeing as how coverage of the Cubs has been pretty negative lately, we'd like you to share the story of your favorite game. The one you think of when Greggers gives up a 2-run double to tie things and you start mumbling about going to your happy place. You might say that WAIW is asking you to share your happy place on the blog for all to see ... wait, no. Probably shouldn't say that. My mom might read this.


Without a doubt this is my favorite Cubs game. August 29, 1989 vs. Houston. After being down 9-0 in the fifth inning the Cubs stage the most incredible comeback. The team somehow entered the game up 2-1/2 in the NL Central. Most of us are waiting for the collapse. With the Astros up 9-0 it was easy to think this was just another case of here we go again. But this Cubs club was a different animal. Lloyd McClendon and Dwight Smith were huge in the comeback, both had three RBi's. Smith with the game winner in the bottom of the tenth. It was a magical game during a magical season.

- WPBC runs Waxpaperbeercup, where the list of crappy Cubs middle infielders is ... well ... staggering.


The most fun Cubs game to reflect back on for me has to be May 6, 1998 when Kerry Wood struck out 20 Astros. It was by far the most dominant pitching performance I had ever seen out of a member of the Cubs and it came from a kid that was making his 5th major league start.

Wood started by striking out the first five batters he faced and proceeded to strike out the side four different times in the game. Armed that day with an exploding fastball and a ridiculous curve, Astros hitters had no chance even when they knew what pitch was coming. How can we be sure they knew what was coming? Because even Chip Caray knew. I'll never forget him yelling "Here comes the hook" and being consistently correct.

While this was just an early season game, it provided hope to the masses that were discouraged by awful Cubs teams from '90-'97. Finally we had a prospect that would live up to the hype after all the Ty Griffin/Gary Scott/Mike Harkey/Kevin Orie bullshit. By the way Kevin, don't think we forgot that you cost Kerry the no-hitter.

- Jay works over at Bush League Times which summed up our excitement over Jeff Baker fairly well


I've got a few - maybe not as many as I'd like - but the one that's been springing to mind so much lately was a couple of years ago on June 29th. We were under .500 after a first half of redefining the term "slacking" and coming into town was the first place Brewers. (Sound familiar?) The Cubs slowly crawled out of a first inning five-run hole, capped off by Rami's walkoff homer, and sent a message to the Brewers to not get too comfy in first place. I think about that walkoff home run a lot. In fact, I'm gonna go think about it right now…

(Honorable "happy place" mention: any game wherein we beat the Cardinals.)

- Jen, from Cub Blogging reminds us of 2007 in new and uncomfortable ways


I'm not sure I necessarily think of this as a "happy place," as it probably contributes to me always thinking we can come back, no matter how big the deficit, and, as such, it ultimately causes to still more heartbreak.

1989 was the first season I was REALLY into baseball and REALLY into the Cubs. I would spend all morning at the pool, come home and watch the Cubs game, then go back to the pool. Between the time school ended and the time school started, I think I saw every game that summer.

I will never forget August 29, 1989; a home game against Houston, Mike Bielecki (swoon!) didn't have it that day. By the time he exited in the 5th (I think), the Cubs were down 9-0. But in the 6th, the Cubs started chipping away at the lead. I remember some guy out in the bleachers with the score written on a spiral notebook, he kept crossing out the score and rewriting it: 9-2, 9-5, 9-7, By the time we got to the 8th, the game was tied. In the 10th, Dwight Smith sac flied Jerome Walton in. Cubs win 10-9.

Ever since then, I get completely ticked off when we're down early and don't come back.

- We at WAIW are counting on Cubbiejulie, of A League of Her Own, to ward off these pesky "Jay Mariotti to ChicagoNow" rumors. It's either her or Obi Wan Kenobi.


I've witnessed lots of dramatic comebacks and a lot of memorable games, but I'd have to say that my favorite game was 8/8/1990. It was two years after the first night game at Wrigley and it was my first Cubs game. Sandberg, Dunston, Dawson and Zimmer. Mike Harkey started the game and it went into extra innings, 15 to be exact. I even got to hear Harry Caray sing the 7th inning stretch twice. The real thrill was when Andre Dawson got a base hit and drove in Joe Girardi to win the game. I was living in Central Illinois at the time and to see the Cubs beat the hated Cardinals in extra innings was even more exciting than my mom letting me wear my new LA Gears for the upcoming school-year to the game. I still have the game recorded on VHS and watch it every once in a while.

- Corey from Ivy Envy is giving WAIW some serious First Cubs Game Envy

Ginger Russ

I'm gonna have to take the cop-out answer here and say them all, but here are some highlights:

The first game I attended I was a just a little kid and didn't know much about baseball, or the Cubs. My Mom is a Sox fan. But Wrigley captivated me. I don't think I paid much attention to the game, as the only memories I have are walking up from the concourse and thinking it looked so much bigger and greener in real life and Harry Carey singing the Seventh Inning Stretch.

When I was in grade school, we got to go on a field trip to a Cubs game if we had perfect attendance. By now I was a pretty big Cub fan, so I made sure no matter how sick I was I made it for at least the first half of the day. That trip I was walking down to go to the bathroom and a foul ball fell right in front of me. As grown adults spilled beer and punched me in the ribs, I held on with my life, only to later lose the ball in a forest playing catch with it a few months later.

In high school we used to cruise into the city to catch a game. Later, in my college years, we were at a game where Sosa hit a walk-off homer in the ninth. I've never been so happy in my life, even though I hate that fucker now.

A few years ago I attended a game at Wrigley with my family for my birthday. It was one of the last trips I had with the whole family before my sister passed away. She bought me my lucky Cubs hat and was always there rooting for the Cubs. Luckily she was just as smart as me and didn't become a Sox fan like my Mom.

The next season, Lazy Steve and I went to our first game sitting in the bleachers. Even though the tickets were more than a car payment, it was worth it. The bleachers are a totally different experience, and not everyone is as drunk and annoying as other blogs make them out to be.

Last year we took my friend's 4 year daughter to her first game. Sure, she was more interested in the cotton candy and getting a Cubs dress, but it's fun to start them young and let them learn: there's always next year.

And who can count out Spring Training games. The atmosphere is more relaxed, the weather is perfect and sometimes you might just get to meet a fellow blogger or two. So yeah, I've never had a bad Cubs experience. Just give me a cold beer and the crack of the bat and win or lose I'm going home happy.

- Ginger Russ, of College of Idiots recently delivered an analysis of Mexican food that is downright motherfuckin' academic. Much respect from the fat bastards at WAIW.