The Chicago Cubs take on the Giants tonight in Game 1 of the 2016 Divisional playoffs.
Chicago is celebrating how far the Cubs have come, including the brother of former Cubs pitcher, who wrote an epic poem about the team.
Rich Trout is a retired teacher who taught English at Fenger High School.
He’s the son of Detroit Tigers pitcher Paul “Dizzy” Trout.
Here’s the text of the poem:
A Season to Remember by Rich Trout
(to the rhythm of ‘Casey at the Bat’)
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Cubs since nineteen-eight; To win another Series would be a long long wait.
They played for all the marbles five more times through ’45; We all know the outcome, somehow the dream is still alive.
When their hopes were dashed in ’84 – and again in twenty-o-three; A ‘curse’ (some wrote) was at the core – of their dire destiny.
But hope still sprang eternal – within each die-hard fan; ‘We just need a couple breaks and a well thought long-term plan.’
It started when the team was sold – to the Ricketts family; They knew a fresh front office – would be a vital key.
Enter Theo Epstein – who ended Boston’s so called ‘hex;’.
He hired baseball people, the brightest and the best.
They drafted players wisely, used free agency and the trade; It soon became quite obvious, the right moves had been made.
In two-thousand-fifteen, they served notice to the rest
That the Chicago Cubs – were now among the best.
While that season was fantastic, it came down to just one game; They had to win in Pittsburgh – the Wild Card spot to claim.
Without a second thought, Joe gave Big Jake the ball;
That October seventh victory – was the sweetest one of all.
Securely in the play-offs, they were not yet satisfied; They’d have to beat St. Louis – to rate as bonafide.
When the dust had settled – and – to the wonderment of all;
The Cubs had won the round and tore the cover off the ball.
That season whet their appetites; they set their sights much higher;
The twenty-sixteen Cubbies – would light the league on fire.
It started with great pitching: Jake, Jason, and two Johns,
Plus Kyle, ‘The Professor,’ who allowed the fewest runs.
Of course you need fine catchers – to call the game and catch each toss;
And we had a trio of good ones – including ‘grandpa’ David Ross.
Joe Maddon kept things loose and fresh, his style to them appealed;
He placed his guys in many spots, like Travis in left field.
Add to that great hitting – from the left and from the right;
Led by the ‘Bry-zzo Brothers’ – that Rawlings ball took flight.
Fowler set the table – and was the admitted catylist;
All three were NL all-stars, as were Russell and Zobrist.
The relief core proved invaluable, and our defense was just great.
Gold Gloves could be awarded, in this case, I’d say eight.
And the bench we had was awesome; they could start for any team;
We had ‘Soler power’ in left, and Javier Baez up the seam.
From opening day out West – until the magic number ‘zero;’
They piled up the victories . . .each day another hero.
Like the Montero walk off win – the sixteenth of September
In another come-back game the fans will long remember.
This team has been a joy; they play with confidence and pride.
They put Chicago on their back and took it for a ride.
For those who watched and listened, we thank the broadcast team;
Pat and Ron, JD and Len – they all shared the dream.
[As we go into October soon, we can only speculate;
Could this will be the year which ends that long, long wait?
But let me share a secret, friends: I do have a crystal ball;
And if the vision I saw comes true, the Cubs will win it all!
I saw a celebration – such as Chicago has never seen;
It stretched from north of Wrigleyville to the Millennium ‘Bean.’
And I heard a chorus of angels – sing the anthem, ‘Go, Cubs, Go;’
It was the voice of Brickhouse, Banks, Caray, and Santo.
Oh, all across Chicago-land, the sun was shining bright;
The band was playing everywhere; children’s hearts were light.
What an awesome ending – for baseball’s longest suffering team,
The ghost of seasons past did fade – on ‘Wrigley’s Field of Dreams.’]