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And Maybe I Didn’t Do Such A Good Thing After All

August 14, 2020

The line comes from the 1947 movie “Miracle on 34th Street” about an old man who claims to be Santa Claus. Toward the end of the movie, his lawyer is talking to his girlfriend.

I must be a pretty good lawyer. I took a little old man and proved to the world that. . .

He then notices a cane that Kris Kringle always carried that is now in the corner of a house he intends to buy.

Maybe. . .and maybe I didn’t do such a good thing after all.

I’ve recently written about my son’s new interest in baseball. We’ve watched several games this year. He still is full of questions and I’m more than happy to give baseball commentary throughout the nine innings.

In fact, his interest in baseball has progressed to the point he will daily ask me each dayif there’s a game. Today was no different.

What time is the game?

It starts at seven, but we can’t watch it.

What? Why not?

The broadcast for your brother’s football game starts at 7:00.

Do we have to watch it? I mean he’s not even dressing for the game.

Lucky for him a nine-inning baseball game is typically about an hour longer than a four-quarter football game.

By the time we turned the Mariners game on, it was only the 5th inning, but it was already over. The score was Houston Astros 11 and Seattle Mariners 1. It didn’t get any better.

My son tends to internalize the games. He complained about the Mariners pitchers. He complained about the Houston pitchers. He complained about the Mariners hitting.

He was very disappointed.

And I realized I had made a mistake. I had made my son a baseball fan.

Steve Goodman wrote one of the greatest baseball songs ever written. It was called “The Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request.” Some of the lyrics went like this.

. . .
Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around?
When the snow melts away, do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground?

When I was a boy, they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave, the land of the free
And teh doormat of the National League

. . .

The Cubs made me a criminal, sent me down a wayward path
They stole my youth from me, that the truth
I’d forsake my teachers to go sit in the bleachers
In flagrant truancy

And then one thing led to another
And soon I discovered alcohol, gambling, dope
Football, hockey, lacrosse, tennis
But, what did you expect?

When you raise up a young boy’s hopes
And then just crush ’em like so many paper beer cups
Year, after year, after year
After year, after year, after year, after year, after year
‘Till those hopes are just so much popcorn
For the pigeons beneth the ‘L’ tracks to eat
. . .

The Cubs won the World series in 1908. They didn’t win another World Series until 2016. A 108 year drought. Now, it’s true that the Mariners have not been around nearly as long as the Cubs. The Cubs trace their roots back to 1870: 150 years. They are as old as baseball itself.

The Mariners by contrast have only been around since 1977. But, in that entire 43 year history, the Mariners have not only never won a World Series, they’ve never even played in one. In fact, they are the only team to hold that distinction.

In a weird bit of baseball trivia, the Mariners squad from 2001 shares the record for most wins in a season at 116. The other winning team? the 1906 Chicago Cubs also with 116 wins, although they did it in 152 where it took the Mariners 162.

The newest team to join MLB is the Washington Nationals. They moved to Washington DC in 2005. Last year they went to and won the World Series.

The current teams with the longest World Series droughts are

  • Cleveland Indians 72 years
  • Texas Rangers 60 years
  • Milwaukee Brewers 52 years
  • San Diego Padres 52 years
  • Seattle Mariners 44 years

But, those are just since they last won the series. Here’s the list since they’ve last been to the Fall Classic.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates 41 years
  • Milwaukee Brewers 38 years
  • Baltimore Orioles 37 years
  • Oakland Athletics 30 years
  • Cincinnati Reds 30 years

Of course, the Mariners should top this list at 43 years, right? I don’t think so. I think the Mariners lead both lists. Because never is the longest streak of all.

And that’s what I’ve consigned my son to. I’ve made him a baseball fan, but I’ve made him a fan of the worst team in baseball.

Maybe I didn’t do such a good thing after all.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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