By Stuart Shea
It’s been 100 years,
Since we’ve had the last dance.
After Tinker and Evers,
We had no Chance.
Gabby was silent and
Sosa splintered, corked like his bat,
Santo, Jenkins, Billy, Ernie, Hack…
No series, no deposit, no return,
No going back.
Even the great Cavaretta caved before the “curse.”
All the tears,
All the bad to worse, even before Michael Wuertz.
It is no curse of goat, owner, or drug,
No virus or flu bug,
But rather an indictment of all things Chicago,
Our own luck, our character, our fate.
Our go-go no-show ego.
47th St. to downtown,
North side to Oak Park,
Chatham, Maxwell Street.
Our culture is picked, chopped, and reaped by those in London, New York, Ibiza, Amsterdam, just like at each harvest time, when our baseball hopes disappear.
Our writers ignored, ripped off, marginalized, and shunted,
House music stolen and bastardized,
The blues Anglicized,
Our schools vandalized,
Lottery money wasted and schools go begging,
Our leaders prostituted before mobsters, construction racketeers, the hospitality industry.
We are the breadbasket of America, yet many go hungry.
Tonight, all we ask is a damn World Series.
All we want is a fair shake from God,
But the fiefdom of the game has screwed us.
Commissioner en route to Presidency,
Moved our third home game to San Diego in ’84,
Licking the feet of NBC, the television robber barons.
Well, I haven’t forgotten, you lying scoundrel.
Bully. King of Creeps, factotum for self-anointed kings.
With your ambition for greater things,
Big business cudgel,
Forced lights on us in ’88, with
Blackmail to fans and bribes to local government,
And we were so innocent back then
To think it was just a simple question of right or wrong.
Not for long.
As not to see that it was no longer our game,
If indeed if it ever was.
Free market for owners, free agency for players,
Keep moving, folks,
Nothing free here.
So our heroes, our bought and rented men
Play for glory, applause, salary,
Because it’s their job.
Sure, they wear Chicago hats,
But they don’t live here.
Not like in the old days when players would drink with fans at Ray’s,
Dick Selma buying the house a round,
Ron Santo living off Berteau Avenue,
Glenn Beckert, too,
Ernie and Billy commuting from Chatham.
Even Dave Martinez lived in Roselle.
So what the hell.
Once again, our resources—our attention, our time, our intention, our good will, our money—go out of town.
We root, root, root not for our heroes,
But for ourselves, our egos,
Our own meager sense of worth,
Which we think will be conferred onto us by
Rich guys in pinstripe suits
Beating other rich guys in pinstripe suits,
Just like at the Stock Exchange.
Published in Chicago Cubs, Chicago Cubs, History, Lyric, Management, Players, Stu Shea | Link to this poem | 1 Comment