This is a modified re-post of something that I did when I first started posting to this site. At the time I had very few readers and this post was buried so far back that it was pretty much forgotten, except by me. Since the Deity Herself speaks to me through baseball it follows that my eschatology, or theology of the end times has a baseball connection.Since the Cubs are currently in third pace in the NL Central with a record of 41 wins and 39 losses a week before the All Star break having just beat the Braves 4-2 I feel that is appropriate to re-address the topic.
The Creed says of Jesus that “He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” The Creed however does not say how or when. Since many guys with a lot less theological training than me are making mega-bucks writing books about the Second Coming of Christ simply by watching CNN, Fox News and a host of websites and newspapers. I watch these guys vainly trying to match headlines to Bible verses to show why they are right, or at least how to make changes in order to publish another book, I figured why not do this from Baseball.
While Hal Lindsey, Grant Jeffery, John Hagee, Jack Van Impe and groups like the Prophecy Club make definitive statements based on “years of study” of the Scriptures, history and current events only to have to revise those predictions when people and nations refuse to do not as they predict; I prefer not to live my life waiting for Fox News to tell me that Jesus is on the horizon. I remember back in the 1970s when I read Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth and had the shit scared out of me. What was way cool over the years was to see the revisions to the book as the world situation changed. Likewise the new books published by others during the Gulf War and every stinking conflict in the Middle East which basically repackaged the same tripe with slight modifications due to world situation, political change or technological advances. Even worse are the Left Buttocks series by Tim LaHaye whose books and movies sold more copies than People Magazine’s coverage of the death of Michael Jackson
My hair brained theory says that it all comes down to baseball, just as everything else in life. My belief is that when the Chicago Cubs win the World’s Series that we’d better start looking to the East, and pronto.
I’m actually somewhat serious. I have no emotional investment in the Cubs, I’m a San Francisco Giants fan who has a fondness for the Oakland A’s. I enjoyed the hell out of the 1989 NLCS when the Giants won the NL pennant against against the Cubs. I love the Giants, Willie Mays was and always will be the best baseball player who ever lived to me and though far away, and I can name player after player for the team over the years that I admire and I am really pissed at the way Barry Bonds has been singled out while guys like A-Rod and Manny get their wrists slapped and continue to play. Since I am such a partisan Giants fan with no emotional or spiritual attachment to the Cubs, I think that I can honestly say that I am impartial observer of this prophetic event. At least as far as the Cubs are concerned. I hold no personal animus against the long suffering Cubs, they are not the Evil Dodgers nor related to the anti-Christ, unless you are a Cardinals or Brewers fan.
Last year I was actually somewhat concerned that the Cubs were going to see Jesus back into town. The Cubs were a favorite to reach the World Series and maybe win it. They appeared to have the best team in baseball and it was 100 years exactly since the last series that they won. I was worried because as much as I believe that Jesus will come again, I have to confess that I’d prefer he wait until some following generation to do it. The Cubs finished the regular season with a 97-64 record, the best in the National League. The Evil Dodgers swept them in the NLDS ensuring that the Cubs would not make the series and calming my fears that Jesus might come before I could see the Giants win a World Series.
One has to look at history and see all the disappointment that Cubs fans have suffered over the years. Think of the times that the experts said it was the Cubs time. In 1984 they blew a 2 game to none lead in the NLDS and lost to the Padres. In 1989 the Giants took them in 5 games. In 1998 swept by the Braves, Remember the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins? Up in the top of the 8th in game six and then everything fell apart shortly after the errant Cubs fan reached out and caught a foul ball that was almost in the glove of the Cub defender? Swept by the Diamondbacks in 2007 and again swept by the Evil Dodgers in 2008. There has to be something to this. It is too eerily similar to guys like Hal Lindsey and others who keep reading the headlines and predicting Jesus’ return, and when he doesn’t they have to look at the headlines again, wait for another crisis and write another book. Those who follow the Cubs are like followers of the Christian prophecy movement are always disappointed when their playoff prophets are proved wrong again and again.
Thus, all this considered I must be right, there is a correlation between the Cubs and and eschatology. I could be full of crap, but I think I have something here, the Deity Herself I think assures me of this considering her love of Baseball. In the W.P. Kinsella novel The Iowa Baseball Confederacy a young man ventures to the end of a rail spur and ends up transported back in time to 1908 to a place in Iowa where the Cubs were playing an exhibition against a team of local all stars. The game took on mythic proportions, and not to spoil the book, which I highly recommend, it tells of cataclysmic and cosmological significance of the 1908 Cubs.
I guess that to paraphrase Colonel Nathan R Jessup in A Few Good Men “The Cubs playoff defeats while tragic, probably saved lives.” I’ll end here, but to those who expect the Cubs to win the World’s Series you’d better be careful what you ask for…when you are rejoicing that the Cubs finally have won, Jesus may come and spoil your parade.