THANKS FOR THE MEMORY
Bill Murray/Esquire, Eddie Vedder/Rolling Stone, Hillary Clinton/Time, Bob Newhart/TV Guide. The list of famous Cubs fans who have graced the covers of highly regarded publications goes on and on.
But the cover that tops ‘em all is Bob Hope, clad in the sleeveless Cleveland Indians uniform of the day, on the June 3, 1963, edition of Sports Illustrated.
Though he was born in London, the iconic actor-comedian grew up in Cleveland as an Indians fan and bought a small stake in the team in 1946. (His pal Bing Crosby bought a piece of the Pittsburgh Pirates that same year.) Hope served as an Indians ambassador on his shows for many years. In one 1956 episode of “I Love Lucy, ” he appeared as himself next to Lucille Ball, who was wearing an Indians jersey.
Hope, who died in 2003, remained loyal to the team and sang a version of his trademark song, “Thanks for the Memory,” after the Indians’ last game at Cleveland Stadium on Oct. 3, 1993.
Indians at Cubs
8:08 p.m., Ch. 5
Trever Bauer vs. Jon Lester
LIFE DOES NOT IMITATE ART
One of the numerous sports flicks that hit the theaters between the release of Cleveland Indian-centric Major League I and II was 1993’s “Rookie of the Year,” a silly tale about a 12-year-old who pitches for the Chicago Cubs.
Henry Rowengartner (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is his name, and he suffered a broken arm that healed with the “tendons too tight,” giving him a superhuman fastball. To make a long story short, Henry’s arm gives out but on the last day of the regular season but he pitches the Cubs into the NLCS in no small part due to a hidden ball trick and a “floater” he learned from his softball-pitcher mom. The following year, he’s somehow back playing Little League. It also starred Gary Busey as aging pitcher Chet “Rocket” Steadman and Amy Morton (Chicago PD’s Sgt. Amy Platt) as Henry’s mother.
It’s been 39,463 days since the Cubs won the World Series on Oct. 14, 1908 and “only” 24,856 since the Indians won on Oct. 11, 1948.
Chicago has two MLB teams, although you wouldn’t have known it earlier in the week when ESPN and other media proclaimed that Chicago has been waiting for a World Series for 71 years, totally ignoring the White Sox’s 2005 Series victory over the Astros. ESPN posted a graphic showing world championships by the Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks, but not the Sox.
Won’t be long before a new member will join the club of teams that won the World Series in years ending in six. The current roster:
Cardinals 1926, 1946, 2006
Red Sox 1916
White Sox 1906
Yankees 1936, 1956, 1996
“Cubbies Woo!” “Ernie Woo!” “Bryant Woo!” “Madden Woo!”
Ronnie Wickers, who turns 75 tomorrow (Oct. 31), has been roaming the stands at Wrigley Field since the late 1950s, chanting the names of Cubbie favorites followed by a hearty “woo!” (Think Bleacher Creatures beckoning Yankee stars at the Stadium.) Known to Cub fans as “Ronnie Woo” or “Ronnie Woo-Woo,” he was even the subject of a 2005 film called “WooLife.” He even has his own bobblehead.
Back from the disabled list after suffering a fall on July 19 at Wrigley, he no longer runs up and down the steps and his voice is diminished, but you just may hear him wooing in the background tonight.
“People ask me to cheer, I give them a ‘woo.’ Sometimes [his loud voice is] still there,” he told ESPN. “But I promise if they win the World Series, it will come back again. This team is in it to win it. And when they do, that’s all the medicine I will need.”
NOAH CAN WAIT
What a difference a year makes. One year ago today/Oct. 30, Noah Syndergaard was pitching — and winning - Game 3 of the World Series at Citi Field.
Monday, the Mets righthander appears on the CBS comedy “Kevin Can Wait” as Thor, “a music-blaring Viking who disrupts a romantic Halloween scene,” according to CBSNewYork.
Syndergaard’s nickname, of course, is Thor. And series star Kevin James, a graduate of Ward Melville High School, is a longtime Mets fan, as is his character on the sitcom. The series is filmed at at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage.
Leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler on Tuesday became the first African-American to appear in a World Series game for the Cubs. The team’s previous World Series appearance, which ended Oct. 10, 1945, preceded the Dodgers’ signing of Jackie Robinson to a minor-league contract by 13 days.
ONLY IN CHICAGO
SOMEONE BROUGHT A GOAT: If you watched Game 3 on the tube, you probably saw the throng of Cub fans milling around Wrigley Field during the game. One of those millers was Millie the Goat. Her owner, Joe Roetter told DNAinfo Chicago that he and his “lucky goat” made the trip from Grand Haven, Michigan his to break the Cubs curse.
TALK ABOUT CURSES: Chicago has two MLB teams, although you wouldn’t have known it earlier in the week when ESPN and other media proclaimed that Chicago has been waiting for a World Series for 71 years, totally ignoring the White Sox’s 2005 Series victory over the Astros. ESPN even posted a graphic showing world championships by the Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks, but not the Sox.
BEING A CUB FAN AIN’T CHEAP: For fans who can’t afford $3,000 or so for an after-market World Series ticket, many Wrigleyville bars welcome fans willing to pay hefty cover charges — ranging from $25-$250 just to walk in and watch the game.
BUT IT GOT CHEAPER: Tickets for a possible Game 5 World Seires clincher at Wrigley Field were headed for the $8,000 range before the Cubs lost Game 3, according to Forbes.com. Now that the Cubs can no longer clinch at home, average asking prices for Sunday’s game have dropped 20 percent, the website reported.
COLOR THEIR WORLD: The office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel plans to dye the Chicago River Cubbies blue if his team wins the World Series, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed. FYI, In 2005, the river was not dyed black when White Sox fan Richard M. Daley’s team won it.