BY JOHN McALEAVEY | Don’t let anyone say that it’s just a game / For I’ve seen other teams and it’s never the same / When you’re born in Chicago you’re blessed and you’re healed / The first time you walk into Wrigley Field / Our heroes wear pinstripes / Heroes in blue / Give us the chance to feel like heroes too / Forever we’ll win and if we should lose / We know someday we’ll go all the way / Yeah / Someday we’ll go all the way…
That my friends is the first stanza of a song called All The Way. It was written and recorded in 2008 at the behest of none other than Ernie (Let’s Play Two) Banks by a gentleman named Eddie Vedder. Yes, the Pearl Jam front man is also a life-long Chicago Cubs fan. Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois before later moving to California, Vedder has always joined with the Northsiders in rooting for the Cubs. The fact that he grew up to be such an accomplished singer has come in handy because he has thrilled Wrigley Field crowds over the years with Take Me Out To The Ballgame. A true Cubbies fan, Vedder has thrown out first pitches at games; but what I think is so cool is that he has taken part in the Chicago Cubs fantasy camp on several occasions! That’s right, Eddie Vedder, rock star for the ages, puts on a Cubs uniform and plays in baseball games. He definitely looks out of sorts, but I love it!
Thirteen years ago Vedder struck up a relationship with a young baseball executive, Theo Epstein, and the two have become close friends over that time. They jam together at fund raising events and sit together at Cubs games. In fact, television cameras caught the leader of his iconic rock and roll band, which has sold nearly 32 million records in the US and an estimated 60 million worldwide, holding a pencil and keeping score of divisional series games this past week. That is AWESOME! Well now, his beloved Cubs are just four victories away from playing in the Fall Classic; but due to his occupation, that may not be so great for him. You see, Pearl Jam opens a South American tour on November 4, the day MLB has scheduled for a game seven (if necessary). Vedder will be on stage at Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile, on that day instead of in his beloved Wrigley Field. I’m hoping that his Cubs (if they make it) sweep their opponent so he can be there to witness history.
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.
PS – I can’t think of a “Better Man” to throw out the first pitch of a World Series game played in Chicago than…Steve Bartman. The poor guy has truly been a “Nothingman” since the foul ball incident that happened exactly 12 years ago today.