Cubs vs. Granderson’s Mets: who do we cheer for?
As the Chicago Cubs face the New York Mets – and UIC grad Curtis Granderson – in the NLCS this week, who will the UIC community root for?
“I think that depends person to person,” said John Flood, assistant coach of the UIC baseball team. “If you’re a Cubs fan like myself, you want to see them win. With that being said, we want Curtis to do extremely well.”
The Mets won the first two games of the championship series over the weekend in New York. The teams compete at Wrigley Field Tuesday through Thursday and would return to New York for two more games next weekend if needed. The team that wins four games advances to the World Series.
The question of which team to root for is especially tough for head baseball coach Mike Dee, who coached Granderson at UIC.
“I certainly am happy that they are playing against each other,” he said. “I’m going to be happy whoever wins and I’m going to be disappointed no matter who loses.”
UIC baseball player Charlie Cerny is rooting for the Mets and Granderson, a 2003 business graduate who donated $5 million to UIC to build Curtis Granderson Stadium. The stadium, which opened in April 2014, is home to Flames baseball, as well as Chicago youth sports organizations.
“I want the Cubs to get swept in four, and I want Granderson to hit a home run every game,” said Cerny, a freshman in business and right-handed pitcher for the Flames. “I’ve always been a fan of Granderson and watched him play growing up, and not just because I go to UIC. Playing at his stadium is unreal.”
Cerny, who’s from Bloomington, is a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, the team the Cubs beat to advance to the NLCS.
“I was devastated when we lost,” he said. “If the Cubs win the World Series, I would be really upset. If Granderson wins, I will be happy, but not as happy as if the Cardinals won.”
UIC baseball player David Cronin is cheering for the home team.
“I’ve been a diehard Cubs fan since I was a child,” said Cronin, a junior in criminal justice and infielder for the Flames. “It’s awesome that Curtis is going to be playing the Cubs and at Wrigley, but my heart is with the Cubs.”
He’s hoping the predictions made “Back to the Future Part II” come true: the Cubs win the 2015 World Series. The Cubs won their last World Series in 1908 at the West Side Grounds, where the UIC College of Medicine stands today.
“I wouldn’t even know how to express myself if they win – it would be incredible, ” said Cronin, who’s from Orland Park. “It’s weird to think that the Cubs are good now and the fact that I actually might be able to witness it would be pretty incredible.”
Granderson said he’s excited to return to his hometown for the series.
“Anytime I get to go back home and play against any one of the Chicago teams it’s obviously a great experience,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s obviously the biggest stage I have a chance to go on. A lot of fans and friends. Cubs fans, I have a lot of ’em, but I also have Mets fans, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”