Saying bye to 2016 as next year is here

The laundry list of deaths equine and human is long for 2016. And most, it seems, welcome the year itself joining the list. But the year 2016 always will be the year my longtime baseball love, the Chicago Cubs, finally won the World Series.

I’ve spent the last hours of this year watching specials on the Cubs, the team’s fans and the beloved late announcer Harry Caray — sucking all the marrow out of arguably the (only?) highlight of the year. The recurring themes are families and hope, hope that 108 years of history will be reversed.

Families and hope, too, are the stuff of the thoroughbred world, from watching Doug O’Neill’s mother celebrating her son’s second Kentucky Derby training triumph in person to playing a horse racing game with my son that my father made for me.

Here’s to the hope of the new year, as each horse celebrates its Jan. 1 birthday img_2385and a new crop of Kentucky Derby contenders is christened. As Cubs fans say — and, finally, in 2016 it was true, ‘next year’ is here.

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