February/March 1983 | Volume 34, Issue 2
Two words in your story about Babe Ruth’s (maybe) calling his home run in 1932 (“The Time Machine,” October/ November 1982) wounded the psyche of every Chicago baseball fan.
Chicago is a highly polarized city when it comes to baseball. White Sox fans detest the Cubs. Cub fans despise the White Sox. Chicagoans who profess to support both teams are either politicians, immigrants who have not conformed to local mores, or subversives who neither appreciate nor understand the national pastime.
The Cubs have won nothing since 1945. That’s thirty-seven full seasons. They haven’t won a World Series since before World War I. Theirs is a record of futility rivaled only by the White Sox, who went forty years between pennants, even if they did win in 1959.
Each Chicago fan glories in the inadequacies of his favorite team. Making a virtue of necessity, he takes pride in his team’s disasters, brags of its misfortunes, and will argue interminably that his team’s blunders are the most horrendous.
Your article places the incident during the World Series in Comiskey Park! But Comiskey Park is and always was the home of the White Sox. Any ten-year-old can tell you that the White Sox never have and never could have met the Yankees in a World Series: they’re both American League teams. The victims were the Cubs; the site their home, then as now, Wrigley Field.
You have stolen from Cub fans one of their most treasured humiliations and awarded it to the hated White Sox, who have no need of secondhand catastrophes.