Somewhere my grandfather is smiling, and he’s probably still jubilant just like this city is. I’ve thought about him so many times today, because I know he’s happy. The Cubs didn’t win it all in his lifetime, but they won it this year.
Last night was about as good as it gets if you’re a baseball fan. Except if you’re one who hails from Cleveland. And even the Cleveland fans have to appreciate the greatness of the game.
The comeback from 3-1. Then in Game 7. Cubs go up early. And often. Blowing the lead. Battling through the 9th inning. Winning it in the 10th. It probably wasn’t the greatest World Series of all time, but it’s up there, and it may have been the greatest game 7.
For one small stretch, I found myself a Cubs fan, and as a transplant from Cincy, I’ve probably lost my 4-year old to the team in blue. I’m fine with that.
Artist/Title/Album: “All the Way” by Eddie Vedder (2008)
First sung by Vedder in 2007, and recorded/released as a single in 2008.
Description: Eddie Vedder was born in Evanston and grew up there before moving to California. He took his Cubs fandom with him and has always been one of the more notable Cubs fans – maybe just behind Bill Murray.
He attended the Cubs pre-season fantasy camp a number of times, and one year Ernie Banks asked him to write a song about the Cubs. He honored the request and first played it at a Pearl Jam concert in Chicago a few days before Lollapalooza in 2007. He recorded it over a few dates in 2008, and released it as a single (it’s under his name, not the band’s).
How it’s related to baseball: The song is about being a Cubs fan. It touches on the sanctity of Wrigley Field and the eternal optimism of the folks rooting for the lovable losers (can you even use that phrase any more?).
Vedder sings it from the heart; you can feel his fandom in the versions of the song I’ve heard. It’s somewhere between the two famous Steve Goodman songs – not as upbeat as “Go Cubs Go”, but not as downtrodden or cynical as “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request”. You can tell Vedder believed they were going to win it all in his lifetime. Last night proved him right.
My favorite lyric is when he talks about keeping score as a little kid. Famous people do the same weird crap I did when I was young!
There are 3 videos of the song worth showing. First, here’s the original, which I think was filmed in 2008, but not released until a few months ago.
Next, here’s an abridged version the Cubs released today that updates it with celebration from 2016.
Finally, here’s my favorite. Ernie Banks died just before the 2015 season started. As mentioned, Banks was the impetus for this song, and a humbled Vedder performed it the day Banks passed away. He changed one lyric, in the last verse to say “I wish he’d live 200 years” – talking about Banks. Vedder references the concert he played in 2013 at Wrigley, when he played this song and Banks came on stage. A bunch of my friends attended that concert. I did not – I’m not a big music fan. But I lived 2 blocks from Wrigley at that time and I sat out on my porch listening to the concert.
When you’re born in Chicago
You’re blessed and you’re healed.
The first time you walk into Wrigley Field.
We know someday we’ll go all the way
Someday we’ll go all the way!