Another year, another painful season for Chicago Cubs fans.
This erev Rosh Hashanah marks the last game of the season for the team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908 and hasn’t advanced to the World Series since 1945. Jewcy Editor in Chief Jason Diamond knows this all too well.
"My mother’s side of the family, they were old American Jews," Diamond told a crowd of forty during "A Night of Baseball Stories" held at WORD, an independently-owned book store in Brooklyn. "The first thing they got into, I mean before anything American, was the Chicago Cubs. I don’t know why, but I am the great-grandson of a Chicago Cubs fan," he said. "And that’s (pause) a horrible thing."
Despite lacking the answer to this enigma, Diamond stepped up to the mound to deliver a short story that night. In the semi-autobiographical tale, he offered a ballpark explanation as to how his ancestor, Julius Ginsberg, settled on the Cubs as his team — and how he may have inadvertently cursed them by shaving his beard.
While sprinkled with iconoclasm, Diamond’s story struck a sermonic chord. "You know, if you stay a Cubs fan, you’re gonna make a great Jew," Diamond’s dad once opined on the ride home from another Cubbies loss. "Because being a Jew and being Cubs fan is all about waiting. You wait, and you wait, and you never get what you want. You’ll wander in the desert dry-mouthed and miserable, but you will never get what you want."
Archive Notes: Volunteer organization "Impact for Hunger" set a record for the largest canned food collection ever during a 1983 game between the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs (The Cubs lost the game 5-2) … While playing for the Cubs in 2008, Jason Marquis became the first Jewish pitcher to hit a grand slam since 1950. This season, while playing for the Washington Nationals, Marquis became the fifth Jewish pitcher to register 100 wins … Well before becoming Major League Baseball commissioner, Ford Frick said in a 1934 broadcast, "Probably the greatest Jewish player ever in the leagues was Johnny Kling, catcher and ‘Brains’ of the famous old Chicago Cubs of the Frank Chance era" … Check out Jeremy Fine’s attempt to identify the best Jewish Chicago baseball players of all time