Born and raised a Chicago Cubs fan was more a way-of-being-in-the-world than just liking a team. We knew what it was like to win and lose, and mostly what it was like to lose. We knew that there was life and there was baseball and that life wasn’t baseball and baseball wasn’t life. They never competed in my young world, they never had to; it was never an either/or and it wasn’t as simple as both/and.
We knew something that didn’t make sense to the people of Mudville; we knew it more, it seemed, than Ernest Thayer, author of Casey at the Bat (1888). Maybe there wasn’t much to life back in 1888 so baseball was all they had; who knows.
The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at…
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