The Baseball Fandom of “What Teeth They Had”



A hearty congratulations to the Chicago Cubs is in order after their unbelievable comeback against the Indians in the 2016 Word Series. As a resident of the South-side of Chicago, my allegiance has always been with the White Sox, but seeing the joy in Cubs fans’ eyes over the course of this post season has left me humbled.

During rewrites of What Teeth They Had, I realized how difficult it was to tell a story about people in the Midwest without dipping into their love of sports. Surely someone in the book is a Cubs fan, so let’s take a look!

Eustace Bully is originally from  South Texas. His primary team is the Houston Astros with his secondary team being the White Sox, making for a particularly conflicted 2005 World Series celebration. His son, Dan Bully, is the exact opposite with the Sox being his top team while having a place in his heart for the Astros.

Charlene Fettel grew up in the Detroit area before silver mining operations destroyed most of Michigan. Her team, along with her father, is the Detroit Tigers. Her husband, Gator, cares little for the game at all, focusing all his energy on hockey. Being from Southern Illinois, Gator was a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks long before their resurgence in 2007.

Jake Reto’s past is a bit of a mystery at this point. We do know that he lived in St. Louis for a time with his first wife. It seems to make the most sense that he is a Cardinals fan seeing as how he is filled with more hate and rage than any other character in book one. ZING!

As a fan of all things baseball, Bernadette Saunders would no doubt be thrilled for the Cubs’ historic end to their 108 year-old World Series drought, buying whatever commemorative memorabilia she could get her hands on. But she, like her niece, is a Tigers fan above all else.

Despite working at a Chicago Sports Memorabilia store, Luke Reto has no team. He had learned to associate team victories with long hours and unpleasant fans. I’m positive he’ll be working overtime for the Cubs’ victory well into the holidays.

So who does that leave? Pitch-hitting for Eustace Bully for most of the second half of book one is Kalvin Lucero. The Naperville resident spends most of his time trying to help others, only to get the brunt of punishment for much of the story. His suffering certainly feels like a century of losing, and for that, I’m proud to officially write that Kalvin is a Cubs fan.

Anyone I missed? Let me know in the comments section!

Until next time,



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