Dear Mr. Epstein,
Is it OK if I call you Theo? I kind of feel like we’re friends. You and I go way back, even though you don’t know it.
See, I became a Red Sox fan way, way back in 1967, when my fifth grade teacher took our class to Fenway to see a baseball game. (This was a LONG time before the Common Core; field trips were just for fun back then. My teacher was a huge Sox fan. She was very….stoic.) I went with my classmates to Fenway on that warm June night back in 1967, and I saw Tony Conigliaro hit a home run in the tenth to win the game. My heart literally turned over in my chest, and I fell hopelessly and permanently in love with Boston Baseball.
And so I suffered.
For a very, very long time. I welcomed every spring with the words “This is our year!” and I ushered out every October with the murmured sigh, “Wait till next year.”
It was a long, sad stretch of years, Theo, without a Championship Team.
You came along. You were young, and handsome and confident and brash. Everyone in New England fell in love with you. We bought those fabulous “In Theo we trust” Tshirts. We put on hats that said, “Why not us?” We started to believe in each other, in our Team, in our boys. We started to believe in you.
And you brought us the incredible life-changing miracle of 2004.
I’ll never forget that blood red moon, or the feeling of disbelief and euphoria that came over us that night.
Theo, in you we trusted, and you delivered the goods.
Now I have a favor to ask you.
Now you are a Cub. You’re in charge of breaking another curse. You are being trusted by a whole new crew of stoic, die-hard fans. They are praying for you to pull off another miracle.
You’re pretty young, Theo. You probably think you have all the time in the world. But the thing is, there is one guy, one awesome, feisty, proud old Cubbie who needs you to pull off the miracle THIS YEAR.
That guy is my Uncle, Lennie Merullo. The last remaining Cub to have played in a World Series. He was the starting shortstop for the Cubs in 1945. He’s been dining out on those stories ever since.
Uncle Lennie was my hero, especially after 1967. He taught me how to throw a curve ball. He talked to me about Spring Training, and PeeWee Reese and signing with Mr. Wrigley. He is a living, breathing artifact of American History. I grew up on my Dad’s stories of the exploits of his famous older brother.
Theo, Uncle Lennie is 97 years old now. The Cubs flew him out to Wrigley last spring to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the ball park where you are now the man in charge.
Can you please work your magic this year? It would be so incredibly wonderful if Uncle Lennie could celebrate the end of the Cubs Curse. It would mean the world to him, and to all of his kids and grandkids and nieces and nephews and cousins and friends and neighbors.
Theo, in you we trust. We BELIEVE. You can do it. I mean, you have Jon Lester on your side, for goodness sake. We sort of gave him to you.
Dear Theo, You can do it. I will personally promise you all the homemade ravioli you can eat if you just manage this one additional miracle.
Please let the Cubbies win it all in 2015.
Just think of how cool it would be to have Uncle Lennie there to hold up the trophy.