Scant attention for World Series hero | Inquirer Sports
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Scant attention for World Series hero

/ 01:27 AM November 11, 2016

Two years ago, Chicago-based Filipino newsman Joseph G. Lariosa stumbled upon a good sports story.

He learned that a half American, half Filipino baseball player named Addison Russell was a shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, the Windy City’s historic and until recently, star-crossed Major League Baseball franchise.

Since his discovery, Lariosa has dutifully attempted to interview Russell through the Cubs front office for his one-person wire service that supplies Filipino-American news to Manila outlets. But he has had no luck at all.

Lariosa told me via Facebook that even a talk he arranged with Russell’s mom, the former Milany Deocampo, proved to be a bummer. The Olongapo City native begged off at the last minute, understandably caught in an emotional maelstrom while the Cubs and her son played in this year’s World Series against the Cleveland Indians.

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Of course, Lariosa’s prized interview subject is well on his way to major league greatness. His heroics enabled the Cubs to capture MLB’s world title again after 108 years.

Twice, the 22-year-old Russell, Milany’s eldest of four children, snatched the Cubs from the throes of defeat and ignominy yet again.

He broke out of the doldrums in the National League pennant finals to help the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
His grand slam home run also gave the Cubs a 9-3 victory over the Indians and forced a classic Game 7 they eventually won, 8-7, in 10 innings to break Chicago’s Curse of the Billy Goat.

The Cubs last played in a World Series in 1945 when they lost to the Detroit Tigers. It was in Game 4 of that championship when the curse was cast on them by a guy named Billy Sianis who came to watch with two box seat tickets—one for him and one for his goat.

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Because of the goat’s foul smell, people around Sianis demanded that the animal leave Wrigley Field. His owner vehemently objected, causing his and the goat’s ejection from the park.

“The Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” Sianis uttered and thus began the infamous curse finally broken by Russell and his teammates in the 2016 Fall Classic.

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It is ironic that although Russell treasures his Pinoy ancestry, he gets scant attention and remains relatively unknown in Filipino-American communities outside of the Cubs’ Midwestern base.

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TAGS: Addison Russell, Baseball

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