The entirety of the old confines fell unearthly quiet. The home team’s dugout was complete with disbelief. Sitting motionless with blank stares of imminent closure was complete evidence. The manager stood on the second step of the dugout, set in a frozen stare before an ever so slight shaking of his head as if in shock.
With a 3-2 count in the top of the 1st inning on a Wednesday, October 21, 2015, there was no goat to blame…not Bartman to condemn…no rain as in the night before. Simply put, the pitcher put a pitch over the plate and a fellow named Duda smacked it out, over the vines in deep left center field to bring complete and total silence to Clark & Sheffield, where dreams continue down a path worn with grief and agony. The New York Mets defeated the home team, the Chicago Cubs on that pitch…in that instant…in that fraction it takes to smash a dream for another day…another season…another year.
The look on the young Cubbie faces were blank, searching for an answer to the more than evident answer. The long, long drought of the Chicago franchise on the North Side of the City would continue. Youth was destroyed. Pennants were banished. Blame it on Duda.
The vines began to fade along with the autumn somewhere between the 1st and 2nd inning when Duda drove in two more to make is 6-0 in 1 & 2/3rds innings of the fourth game of the NLCS. The only sound one could hear was the movement of arms-to-mouth for another sip of Old Style. And that seemed slower than usual, as the crowd was in nonbelief.
On this Fall evening, after the lights were out, the North Siders failed…again. This time it was the Metropolitans from the place where the Big Apple rises in center field who won in four straight games to win the National League Championship in 2015 with a score of 8-3.
Long live the memories of Tinkers to Evers to Chance. It didn’t happen when Baez to Castro to Rizzo played in their dreams.