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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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Na na na na, Na na na na, Hey Hey, Goodbye!

My father died in 2001 at age 87.  He was a toddler when this happened last.  My maternal grandfather was seven.  My mother lived her entire life without seeing this happen, having passed at 72 this last June.  Ronald Reagan was six at the last appearance of this event.  Teddy Kennedy wasn’t even born yet; JFK was a baby.  What is this momentous event?  Is it Halley’s Comet?  Did all of the planets line up and throw the Earth out of its orbit and into the Sun?

Nope.  Chicago won the World Series!  The White Sox, the last team to win the World Series, in 1917, finally repeated, eighty-eight years later.  I was born on the South Side of Chicago, in a neighborhood named Roseland, in a hospital that was literally kitty-corner from my material grandparents’ home.  I grew up in Beverly, in the staunchly pro-Sox 19th ward.  Ironically, over the years, I preferred the Cubs.  However, the White Sox have played so excellently that every one on the planet should cheer their unmitigated excellence!

The White Sox are true winners.  In fact, they didn’t just win, they stomped their opponents into the ground!  They swept last year’s champions, the Red Sox, they whipped the Angels four games to one, and they stomped the Astros -- a convincing sweep in which the Sox’ incredible pitching staff put on a clinic.  Moreover, we met the new baseball heroes of the 21st century:  Jermaine Dye, A.J. Pierzynski, Scott Posednik, Joe Crede.  We met a 24-year-old phenom, Bobby Jenks, who is destined to be the next great unstoppable closer in baseball.

At the end of every winning game in U.S. Cellular field (I hate this brand-name crap -- rename it Comiskey Park.  And yes, I know that the Cubs started it all with Wrigley Field, named after the chewing gum brand), the fans sing the chorus of a famous song:  "Na na na na, Na na na na, Hey Hey, Goodbye!"  Now they can follow up with a chaser of Queen’s We are the Champions!

Now, in the next 88 years, we in Chicago deserve 88 more pennants and 88 more world championships.  And, if the Cubbies manage to get their act together, and make it Chicago v. Chicago next year, all the better.  I just want to know how Mayor Daley would handle the ceremonial bet with himself.  Let’s find out!