I joined the Cubs bandwagon in 1984 at the ripe age of 5 (turning 6). I was really into baseball and had already played two years of T-Ball. My dad was the coach of my older brother's team so when not enough kids showed up, he'd stick me out in right field.
My dad was also in the Army and somehow we ended up in Moline, IL from the summer of 1984 to the summer of 1985. From what I remember, he spent a year in some kind of civilian exchange program and worked for John Deere that year. But what do I know, I was five.
Obviously, anyone who knows Cubs history (or even baseball in general), 1984 was a pretty big year for the team. All my little first grade friends were Cubs fans, so like any good little military brat trying to fit in at a new school, I became one too.
My dad claims we watched "The Sandberg Game" but I do not recall watching it as it happened. Of course I've heard the tale and seen the highlights during various rain delays on WGN over the years. But because I was so young, I'm sure most of my memories from that season are things I've read or heard or saw on TV later and not actual firsthand memories.
In last week's Signature Saturday, I showcased a couple of Bob Dernier autographs I had gotten on some old Unocal prints. I had a different print that somehow survived various moves througout the years and in the early years of eBay, I put together what I think is a complete set, plus a few extras. Some of them feature individual Cubs, past and (at the time) present while others did events. Here are a couple that show former Cubs manager Jim Frey that I mailed to him a couple of years ago and he returned autographed.
There is a white border that goes all around the photo but for some reason my scanner saw the sides and bottom but not the top so the cropping looks weird. I scanned the backs so hopefully you can enlarge them to see what constituted Frey being considered one of the "Great Cubs Managers" and read about his "Victory Lap" in late September 1984.
I don't remember much about his reign as manager, but watching the Cubs teams a few years later when he was made the General Manager are some of the my fondest childhood memories. Frey is a longtime friend of former Cubs manager Don Zimmer and I know I've expressed my favoritism towards the "Boys of Zimmer" before on this blog.
I have a Jim Frey ATCRCS card in the works and hope to get that out in the mail soon.