New Year’s Eve is upon us, a time when folks look back on where they fell short over the past twelve months and vow not to let that happen again. Fitness centers will see their annual spike in business. People promise to start reading more, watching TV less, and reconnecting with family and friends. The world suddenly seems full of new possibilities – until about a month from now, when most of us realize that at least some of our goals won’t be any easier to achieve this year than they were in any other year past.
As a Cubs fan, I figure it’s time to set some goals for my fandom in 2018. Here are five that I came up with, and I hope to be able to say that I kept them all at this time next year:
Talk about baseball more with family and friends. Not being a talkative person, baseball has always been one topic that can get me going. It’s always been one of the best ways for me to connect with my family and friends. For whatever reason, I didn’t do a whole lot of that this year. Baseball is a recreational activity, and it’s not meant to be enjoyed alone. Connecting with other fans is part of what makes it so great. I’m thankful to live in an area with lots of other Cubs fans, and I hope to talk with a lot of them about what’s happening on the field as the season unfolds.
Read more about the Cubs and about baseball. More reading in general is at the top of my priority list for 2018, and that includes finding some new books about baseball history. I hope to find at least one or two good ones on Cubs history. I’m open to suggestions, if anyone has them.
Get back into baseball card collecting. Growing up, I was big into baseball card collecting, and after neglecting it for a few years in college, I got back into it again right after graduation. But after a few years, other things in life again took priority, and I’ve only made one new purchase in the last five years – the 2016 Topps Cubs team set. I have a big collection of Cubs cards, which includes over 1,000 cards of Mark Grace, and my collection has always been both a source of pride as well as a way for me to relax and enjoy my free time. I need to pick it up again this year.
See the Cubs play in a new stadium. So far, besides Wrigley Field, I’ve seen the Cubs play in Detroit, St. Louis, Arlington, TX, and the South Side of Chicago, along with a few spring training stadiums. I’d like to get to at least one new ballpark this year. Milwaukee is a possibility, but I’ll see what my schedule looks like as we move into the new year. I’m also hoping to go to more South Bend Cubs games, since I live close to their stadium, as I only went to one this past year. In addition, I’d like to see at least one new minor league stadium.
Enjoy this upcoming season. To me, the 2017 season went faster than any season before has. The time we had to bask in the glory of being World Champions seemed far too short. It seems like just yesterday, we were watching the Cubs’ championship parade, and now suddenly the 2017 season has already come and gone and a new champion has been crowned. I became frustrated with the team’s disappointing performance in the first half of 2017 without taking the time to just enjoy the baseball season – and with temperatures struggling to get out of the single digits the past several days, I wish baseball season were still here. I’m excited for what the 2018 season will bring and can’t wait to start watching the Cubs again soon!
Brian Johnston is the author of the book The Art of Being a Baseball Fan, his story of following the 2015 Chicago Cubs, available on Amazon. He lives in St. Joseph, Michigan with his wife and two children.