Following the success of the UK edition of our interview series ‘How I fell in love with the Cubs‘, we’ve decided to hit the road and find out how Cubs fans outside the UK fell in love with the team.
First up, we speak to Cubs superfan, Cubs podcaster and front man of Wrigleyville’s premier rock band, the Bleacher Bum Band, Danny Rockett, aka @SonRanto, about how he became a fan of the team, his favourite player of all time and his British roots.
First off, why the Cubs?
My parents were big baseball fans. Dad grew up liking the Tigers outside of Detroit and Mom grew up a White Sox fan on the west side of Chicago. But, when we moved to the Chicago suburbs from Washington D.C. in 1982, I was captured by Harry Caray and Cubs day games. My fandom was solidified during the magical 1984 season when the Cubs almost went to the World Series. I shed my first baseball tears that year and never looked back.
What’s your earliest memory of Wrigley Field?
I’m not sure if this is the first game I ever attended at Wrigley, but it is the first one I remember attending: Cubs vs Reds on 24 August 1983. Chuck Rainey had a no-hitter going into the 9th and my dad was so excited because he had never seen one in person before. Unfortunately, it was broken up by Eddie Milner with two outs to go in the final inning, which screwed it up for everyone in attendance. At least the Cubs won though!
Who’s your favourite Cub of all time?
Andre Dawson is hands down my favorite Cub of all time. I was 13 in his MVP year of 1987 and me and my friend Jarrett, who is uncoincidentally the bass player of the Bleacher Bum Band, and I were allowed to take the ‘L’ and bus together to Wrigley Field, which acted as our babysitter a few times that summer. On Saturday, 23 May, we witnessed a 5-hour, 16-inning Cubs win that was tied by one of Dawson’s 49 homers with two outs in the 9th. To me, he was Superman and could do anything. I still hate Eric Show for beaning him in the head. My hope is that he outlives me, and, when I die, he can be my undertaker at the funeral home he owns.
How did the Bleacher Bum Band come about?
I’ve been writing songs and parodies all my life and come from a family of musicians. I’ve been in numerous rock bands too. Writing and rocking about the Cubs was just a natural progression of things I guess. Cubs fans like the songs, so I just keep writing them!
Tell us about your time as a Cubs podcaster
I’ve worked in radio for over two decades, so I was an early adopter and producer of podcasts. I was doing a comedy podcast that wasn’t getting a ton of listeners, and my friend Lyle suggested we make a Cubs podcast together and see if that might come to something. Over 1,000 episodes later, I’m still waiting to see if it will!
Finally, is it true that you have British roots?
Yes, I’m half English! My Nanny was born at Battersea Hospital in London and my Grandad, who died before I was born, was born near Wales. I even had a great uncle who was a fireman on the Titanic that survived the shipwreck: Thomas Jubilee Mayzes – look him up!
Featured image: Subject’s own
Sean Guest is the Chicago Cubs correspondent for Bat Flips & Nerds. You can follow him on Twitter @SW_Guest