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Bunch of Bums | 1969 Cubs, Episode 3

Bunch of Bums | 1969 Cubs, Episode 3


– [Narrator] And there is pitcher
Dick Selma cheerleading for his pals in the bleacher section as they implore
the Cubs to hit one out of here. – [Mike] There was a phrase back in ’69
called the ‘counterculture.’ Symbolized everything, in the streets,
around the country. The Cubs Organization,
it was straight-laced, crew cuts and ties. Some might say, “Oh,
those bums in the bleachers. Bunch of hippies.” ♪ [music] ♪ – [Karen] It was just an amazing time to
be alive. There was this revolution that was
happening on every level. The molecules in the air were just charged
with possibility. They were also charged with violence and
craziness. The bleachers in 1969 was not just to
rest, but from the chaos that was happening in the world. It was fun. ♪ [music] ♪ – [Jack] I was, like,
19 years old at the time. I was worried about getting drafted. The left-field bleachers made me feel that
was just the place to get away from it all, just leave all that world
behind. That’s how I looked at it. – The town went crazy for ’69 Cubs. I mean, ’67 and ’68 were something,
but ’69 just exploded. All of a sudden, there weren’t 4,000
people coming to games, there were 40,000. The bleacher bums, that was where the cool
place seemed to be. – [Narrator] And there’s the cheerleader
Selma, getting your bleacher fans going. – We did as much as we could in the
bleachers to entertain the fans and ourselves, and Dick Selma,
he was like the leader of the bull pen. – [Billy] We’d be losing a baseball game. They started chanting, “Selma, Selma,
Selma, Selma.” – [Fergie] He’s one of the starters,
and generally the starters sit on the bench, but he would always go down,
sit in the bull pen. – So, Selma will get the towel and start
wheeling them like this. And they will start cheering. They will start cheering,
and then all of a sudden, we started to score some runs. – The bleacher bums,
we had two goals in life. Help the Cubs win and make the other team
miserable. – For some reason, Mike Murphy would know
what would drive an outfielder crazy. He found out that Lou Brock was afraid of
mice. – Turns out one of the bleacher bums
worked in a laboratory somewhere that had laboratory mice. So, Lou Brock runs out to left-field in
the bottom of the first… – And they threw the mice on the field,
hoping that Brock would be afraid of mice and he wouldn’t catch the ball. – The mice did, “Boing, boing.” They just bounded and they ran around. They were fine. Everybody was fine, but then the big
shock. Lou Brock was not afraid of mice. Lou Brock looked at it, laughing,
and now he’s waving at us. It backfired, but it was still fun. – [Rich] They were the first guys that
ever threw homerun balls back on the field.
I mean, that’s what I remember. – I happened to be standing right next to
Ron Grousl the day it happened. So, Ron Grousl catches the homerun ball
from Hank Aaron. He looks at it and he says,
“I don’t want no stinking enemy ball.” Boom, he fires it all the way back toward
second base. You can tell the whole ballpark is
watching this ball roll. Where’d that ball come from? – I wasn’t at that game so I wouldn’t
know, and then I was at the game with Mike Haley. He got hit right on the side of the head
here with a baseball. Next thing you know,
he whips the thing back in the field, and everybody just thought it was the
funniest thing they’ve ever seen, you know? And that’s how I remember the first ball
going back on the field. – The bleacher bums actually became
friends, not just acquaintances, friends with many of the players. – The relationship with the bleacher bums,
with the fans, were personal. We were one-on-one with them. You know, not just myself,
I’m talking about everybody. – That time, I was driving a
Wildcat Buick, and they all knew it because we had to walk across the street
to get in our car, and I would turn around and give them the peace sign. They would all holler up then,
give me the peace sign back, and have another sip of beer,
and they just enjoyed life. I tell you, they enjoyed life. – We had fans, sometimes in our dug out,
in the seats, following us on the road, and wanting us to win. – If there was a high-water mark,
it was the Atlanta trip. – President of the Cubs,
P.K. Wrigley, in the middle of the game,
sent one of his men out to the bleachers. – And he said, “Mister Wrigley wants to
pay for a trip for the bums to go down to Atlanta.
It was just a crazy experience.” – One of the bums dressed up in a bear
outfit and tackled Noc-A-Homa. – Boom! Out of the Cubs dugout comes this big
running crazy bear, Ron Grousl. Boom! Give him a little shoulder,
blindsides him about three minutes in. Ron Grousl as a bear with his back out in
the left-field bleachers. It was great. – I mean, the bleacher bums really helped
the Cubs win that series down in Atlanta. And that’s all because of Wrigley. It was a great thing that he did. – They were magical on all fronts,
on hitting, on pitching, on fielding. They were amazing. So, it just felt like the World Series was
a given. It was just a given.

5 thoughts on “Bunch of Bums | 1969 Cubs, Episode 3”

  1. The 1969 Cubbies are as cool as it gets. I especially love the bleacher bums!#GOCUBSNATION#FlyTheW⚾💙⚾❤⚾💙⚾❤⚾💙⚾❤

  2. The meanest thing I ever said from the bleachers was to the left fielder for the pirates in ‘03?…. I told him “even your mom thinks you suck”….it got a roar of laughter and a reaction from the poor guy playing left.

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