Most of my memories of the summer of 1969 are composed of the sounds of the crack of a bat and the calls of the Wrigley Field venders. I was a seven year old living on the Northwest side of Chicago. Naturally, I was* a Cub fan.
1969 is remembered as the one that got away from the Cubs. They were 9 games up in their division going into September before going on a disastrous road trip.
Some say they should have just thrown away their return tickets and kept on going.
1969 never got away from me. The bus extravaganzas my friends and I took to Wrigley. The contests to see who could eat the most 50 cent pizzas. The beautiful ‘lets play two’ days spent in the bleachers of the friendly confines are events deeply embedded in the joyous memories of my youth.
One by one the heroes of my youth are passing from this world but the joyous memories from that magical summer only gain strength.
The voice of Ron Santo no longer echoes the joy and sorrow of the days game on the radio but my mind continues to replay the image of his heal click celebration of another win.
The gorgeous summer days in Wrigley that inspires ones thoughts to “lets play two” will still occur with regularity but Ernie Banks, the author of that sentiment, will no longer express that desire. My soul however will continue to do just that.
The authors of that wonderful summer in Chicago may pass but the chapter they wrote will continue to contain memories that live in my heart until I too fade into echoes.
My sincere thanks to Ernie and Ron for being a wonderful part of my childhood.
*I only use the term ‘was’ because of grammatical correctness. Outside the realm of grammar the past tense of ‘to be’ does not make sense when paired with any form of the term ‘Cub fan’.