On the Write Track

The Cubs got it right with their ringbearers

I am very honored to be able to write a column each week and I am thankful for my freedom of speech to be able to express my opinions here in print.

While this world needs a tune up when it comes to how each person treats one another and forgives for wrongdoings, I do not believe that sports and politics should intermingle.

I grew up collecting baseball cards and even some football cards and still have them today. I watched college and pro football and racing each week, and enjoyed it. It was my main hobby for many years.

Fans are precious to any sport, they are the life support for them, they help them get through the tough times. One such team that I will commend for supporting their fans would be the Chicago Cubs. Those fans remained unbreakable, always full of hope, patience and understanding even when their team had not won a World Series for 108 years.

During this time, there might have been some controversy, but they always knew they were there for their team.  The Cubs became the Chicago Cubs in 1903 after beginning as the White Stockings in 1876. For those who might not follow baseball, this is an American professional baseball team in Chicago, Illinois, competing in the National League Central Division. They play at Wrigley Field, have been in 11 World Series, and won back to back World Series Championships in 1907 and 1908.

While I realize that’s a long way from where I live, my point in writing this column is that this team did something special for their fans. There was a long, tiring road to reach the World Series in 2016, when they won it all. At this point, I respect the Cubs for their willingness to reach out to 20 special fans to help them in celebrating their win.

Following the World Series win, the Cubs wanted to do something special for their fans. For all of those years of holding out hope for a championship, for all of the years of tears and disappointment, and for just remaining loyal to their team, the Cubs did something really unique for those 20 selected fans.

You know the fans they were seeking, the ones who always were there for them, saying there’s always next year. The ones who truly never gave up on them.

When the Cubs received their World Championship rings last year, it was done with the help of 20 of their most tried and true fans who were named honorary ringbearers that presented the rings to various players. The 20 were chosen through videos that showed their loyalty and dedication. These fans were truly humbled by the experience, thankful for the chance they were given.

These fans ranged in age from 13 to 90, the ones who helped make the Cubs who they are today. Some of those who presented included a grandfather who saved a 1984 bottle of champagne for his championship toast, a cancer survivor, a young woman with spina bifida who plays baseball for her Miracle League Cubs team and a father who named his children after a few Cubs baseball players.

Some of the ringbearers chosen did not even know they had been entered into the contest and were very surprised to receive the news. All were amazed that the organization gave them a chance to be a part of such a special event. The chosen fans received two tickets to a game, commemorative jerseys that had ringbearer written in gold across the back, and accommodations for the night.

While America seems to want to concentrate more on trying to be negative and divisive, I do know that the Cubs organization, as a whole, stood for the National Anthem during the World Series last year. Whether you agree with the team on their stance then or now, you have to agree that this was one special thing for a sports team to do for their fans.

Let’s concentrate on the positive America, there’s so much out there to share.