The it I’m referring to is spring time.
While there have been times during this winter with all the snow and bone-chilling temperatures and bitter wind-chill conditions we may have thought spring was going to bypass us all together or just take longer than usual to reach us.
But have no fear there was a sure sign of spring’s coming last Thursday afternoon.
No. I didn’t see a robin. It was a Cub sighting that has gotten me anxious, enthusiastic and waiting for the arrival of the season like a child waiting for Christmas.
The Chicago Cubs played their first exhibition baseball game of the season Thursday afternoon out in Mesa, Arizona.
Watching the game on television, seeing fans dressed in shorts and enjoying the 73-degree temperatures made me forget for awhile about the fact the that the thermometer here was barely in double digits and the wind-chill factor was well below zero.
One of the announcers had the right idea. He suggested to fans suffering through the brutally-cold winter in the Midwest to close the curtains, turn up the heat and kick back to enjoy the game.
It worked. For those brief couple of hours my mind was lost on the coming baseball season.
Spring is the season where things are reborn after being dormant during the winter and that is my hope for the Cubs this baseball season. While my expectations are not for a World Series championship they are for an improved season over last year when the Cubs finished 66-96.
Tom Ricketts bought the Cubs in January of 2009 and one of his first moves was hiring Theo Epstein as president of baseball operations. Epstein has a remarkable reputation in baseball. He became the youngest general manager in baseball history when the Boston Red Sox hired him in 2002 at the age of 28. Hiring the young man worked out well as the Red Sox captured a World Series title in 2004 ending a streak of 86 years without Boston’s faithful fans celebrating a World Championship.