Welcome to the 103rd year of Baseball Diaspora; another season of knowing that the ‘boys of summer’ will be just that. There will be nothing happening in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field come October — except for some landscaping. The hypothetical Temple wasn’t destroyed, it fell apart brick by brick, and the team’s followers have waited in vain year after year for it to be rebuilt. Some serious fanatics will cling to the idea that this is the year when they will be delivered, but the more pragmatic followers know better than to keep hoping.
Even if you don’t care about sports, you have to know about the plight of the Chicago Cubs; know that there is not a single franchise like them in professional sports, and know that in the great love affair that is Jews and baseball, there is no one team that mirrors the idea of a seemingly never ending quest quite like the loveable losers from the North Side.
Say what you want about the Yankees, the Dodgers, or the Mets: The Chicago Cubs are, without a doubt, the most Jewish team in baseball. Their century-long struggle is the game’s version of the Jews waiting for Moshiach. They’re a team who has endured years of suffering and big contract false messiahs, and keep coming up with nada.
So what does this all mean as we begin another season of Major League Baseball? We’ve already made the point that the Windy City has a football team with one of the largest Jewish fanbases; a Jew owns the NBA team, and the premiere baseball team has been wandering in the desert, and they don’t show any signs of getting out anytime soon.
This all begs the question: Is Chicago now the most Jewish sports city in America?