One prominent Cub fan who's no longer a member is Chicago Sun-Times columnist John Schulian, who resigned in protest when Reagan became a member, claiming the society had become too political for him. "The only vote I cherish is the one I will someday have for baseball's Hall of Fame," he wrote in his resignation column. "I've always been tempted to categorize the [members] as the friends of Richard Nixon.... And how could I be a bleeding-heart liberal with the company I keep? In the Verban Society, we're big on winks and nudges and all kinds of fraternity-boy bonhomie.... We are regular fellows of the kind that you find in fraternities and country clubs."
The hope that is synonymous with baseball in the spring has been heightened this year for Verban members, now that the Tribune Company owns the Cubs and former Philadelphia Manager Dallas Green is their general manager. Some members feel the Cubs' time is nigh, which could spell the death of the society. "There probably would be several days of absolute delight if we won the pennant," Cheney says. "But then they wouldn't be the Cubs. I think most of the members would be delighted to turn in our cards for a pennant." Adds Will, "There is a great theological division among Cub fans. Some think losing is good for the character. I have quite enough character, thank you. I could stand a little decadence."