Chris Carroll feels like the lonely Cleveland Indians fan.
Jack Thomson will carry his Chicago Cubs’ “W” flag – proudly raised after every team victory – even during a family vacation in Tahoe not too long ago.
Both are lifelong diehard fans of this year’s World Series teams.
“No one chooses it – you’re born into being a Cleveland sports fan,” said Carroll, who is the food and beverage director at Oakdale Golf & Country Club.
His family is from Ohio, specifically, the unincorporated town of Northridge. They followed many of the greats – Bob Feller, Rocky Colavito, George Hendrix and Rick Manning to name a few.
Carroll had early memories of meeting Feller at a Stockton Ports’ game years ago.
Until recently, his best Cleveland Indians memories were in the 1990s. Carroll experienced many of the highs and lows with a lineup that featured the likes of Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Charles Nagy.
Thomson is the longtime baseball coach at Sierra High. He grew up in Illinois, where he rooted for home team greats Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins, Ernie Banks, Ron Santos and Ryne Sandberg.
“Jack has waited all his life for the Cubs to be in the World Series,” said his wife, Paula.
Their children were all raised fans of ‘the North Siders,’ she added.
When the Cubs clinched the pennant over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jack Thomson received plenty of well wishers.
“His cell phone just blew up with calls,” said Paula, who also received a bulk of congratulations on her husband’s behalf via social media.
Chris Carroll was out and about this weekend, at the Shoreline Amphitheater attending the annual Bridge School Benefit Concert, wearing his Cleveland cap and jersey.
Suddenly, he was the lonely Indians fan as most of the folks there threw their support for the Cubs.
This is his third time of seeing his beloved Indians in the Fall Classic.
Cleveland went 0-2 in World Series, losing to the Atlanta Braves in six games in the 1995 and a heart-breaking seven games to the Florida Marlins two years later.
Carroll isn’t superstitious on his third Series go-around. However, he makes it a point not to predict the outcome or the number of wins.
“I won’t call the shots – I’d feel like a jinx,” he said.
When it comes to superstition, the Chicago Cubs has a history of curses and unforeseen disasters on the field.
The Curse of the Billy Goats got started in the 1945 World Series when tavern owner Billy Sianis, who bought tickets for himself and his pet goat in Game 4, was asked to leave Wrigley Field due to the odor from the animal.
“Them Cubs – they ain’t gonna win no more,” Sianis allegedly said.
In 1984, first baseman Leon Durham committed a costly error that allowed the San Diego Padres to score four times while rallying back to win the pennant.
Steve Bartman caught the ire of Wrigley fans back in the 2003 National League Division Series with the Marlins, who rallied back after the foul ball incident to eventually win the pennant.
Jack and Paula Thomson are planning to stay at home to watch the Series. But it’s not out of superstition.
“Jack just can sit still (during Cubs’ games),” Paula said.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.