Morning cup: Scratching a 43-year itch
Roberto Clemente was in right field.
Ron Santo was at third base.
We were in Vietnam, 24,000-strong.
Heck, I was in college.
1972. The last year the Pirates and Cubs were both winners, both fighting for the same thing — the championship of the old National League East. The Bucs prevailed, easy, their 96-49 record beating out the Cubs by 11 games. Bill Virdon managed those Pirates.
Now they are fighting for the Wild Card, which in 1972 was only Denny McLain. Enjoy it.
Wrigley Field certainly is. I’m not saying these are the best fans in baseball, but I will say this is the place baseball fans know how to have the best time.
I happened to be in the upper stands on the third base side yesterday when Javier Baez’s dive play into first base on a bunt prompted a “safe” challenge from the Pirates. As replays flashed on the left field video board, Cubs and Bucs fans animatedly — but garrulously — shouted each other down. “Safe!” “Out!” Everyone had wide smile — even after umpires overruled the original call, a big help to the the Pirates in a two-run game.
Shame that the Giants had to lose on the Left Coast late Friday night, clinching a playoff spot for the Cubs while they were sleeping (not! I don’t think anybody in Chicago is asleep at midnight; but you know what I mean). That kinda ruined a Wrigleyville party.
It’ll be like 40,000 showing up at church today, and being told, “Hey, the wedding was last week.”