A longtime Chicago Cubs fan, Lin Brehmer was honored to be requested to reasonable a panel dialogue on the 2015 Cubs Conference.
It was Joe Maddon’s official introduction to Cubs followers, and Brehmer needed the brand new skipper to know precisely what he was in for in Chicago.
“Joe, numerous high-priced managers have come via the Cubs group through the years,” Brehmer mentioned. “Dusty Baker, Lou Piniella and plenty of others have are available, and most left Chicago in straitjackets…”
Maddon interrupted earlier than Brehmer might pose his query.
“Forty-two common,” he mentioned, providing up his jacket measurement.
Brehmer, the veteran disc jockey for WXRT-FM 93.1 who died Sunday at 68, cherished telling that story. He was the quintessential Cubs fan, the type who adopted them as intently once they have been hopeless failures as once they turned World Collection champions. He might cheer them on one minute and throw up his palms in disgust the following.
And although his profession path led him to our metropolis and our favourite progressive rock station, we have been lucky his bosses at WXRT had the great sense to let Lin opine on air about no matter crossed his thoughts, together with his ideas on his beloved Cubs.
Lin’s essay on “Saturday Morning Flashback” on the 1998 Cubs completely captured the essence of the wild season of Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wooden and the “Oh, no!” second in Milwaukee. The enjoyment, the ache, the resurrection and the heartbreak — all encapsulated by the voice of sanity in his lyrical trend. His memorable tribute to Ernie Banks for WGN-Ch. 9 was a basic ode to Mr. Cub.
Considered one of my favourite “Lin’s Bin” essays centered on the unusual feeling of optimism initially of the 2016 season, when the Cubs have been favored to win all of it after the 2015 run to the Nationwide League Championship Collection.
Somebody had requested Brehmer, “Do we actually need the Cubs to win the World Collection?” It was a legitimate query. The Cubs have been particular as a result of all these years of shedding didn’t deter one’s fandom. Would that change with a championship?
Lin remarked that Cubs followers “mark our generations by the abject failures that outlined our youth: 1945 and the goat, 1969 and the black cat, 1984 and the Bull.
“Will my son or my spouse otherwise you ever neglect the main points of Inning 8, Recreation 6 of the Nationwide League Championship Collection of 2003? With all due respect to the science of psychology, there may be not sufficient successful on this planet to take these essential moments away. They’re part of who we’re.
“These Cub plunges into the abyss are as everlasting because the mark left by a branding iron. Cub followers have handed via a narrowing chute the place we’ve got been marked for all times.”
In the long run, Lin determined a World Collection victory wouldn’t spoil the essence of being a Cubs fan: “And if we finish the season with the Cubs in seven, I promise we are going to breathe once more as a result of we are going to now not be holding our breath.”
The Cubs received in seven, after all, and Lin rejoiced like the remainder of their followers. That didn’t change Lin’s strategy to the crew or make him any much less apprehensive about its skill to let him down in essential moments down the street.
I met Lin at one in every of his opening-day exhibits at Yak-Zies a few many years in the past, and he typically texted me from his seat at Wrigley Subject, generally with blunt messages relating to the state of the Cubs that afternoon, just like the one which mentioned: “Bought any morphine?”
At some point in 2020 he informed me he had wager on the Cubs to lose that day. I chided him for being so anti-Cub for a Cubs fan.
“No, I’m fantastic shedding cash if the Cubs win,” he texted again.
Generally I’d wander down from the Wrigley press field for an inning and watch the sport with Lin and his household and associates, together with one fateful September day in 2019.
Cubs nearer Craig Kimbrel served up back-to-back house runs within the ninth inning in a shocking loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Lin simply sat there in his Cubs cap and black Engine No. 78 T-shirt, scorecard in hand, shaking his head with a understanding grin.
One other scar from the Cubs branding iron. However he’d get via it like all the time. It was all a part of being a Cubs fan.
Lin all the time appeared invincible, even after lacking time final summer season whereas present process chemotherapy. His motto, “It’s nice to be alive,” made us really feel as if he all the time could be there for us, choosing the right soundtrack for our morning drive or a run by the lake or simply lounging on the sofa whereas attempting to recover from a hangover.
We’ll always remember his voice or his manner with phrases or his skill to seek out the suitable track for the suitable second and put you in a greater temper.
Lin wasn’t from Chicago, however he was all about Chicago.