Chicago, Illinois - Every fan of the Chicago Cubs in the world is familiar with the phrase “wait til next year.” Well, “next year” starts today when the Cubs open their season at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates as fans hope this will finally be THE year for the team that has not won a world series since 1908. The Cubs will begin their journey to do just that today when they give veteran, Henry Rowengartner, the start after a very lengthy decision process in spring training. Manager, Mike Quade, said that the expectations of pretty much everyone was that Ryan Dempster would be named the number 1 starter, but that Rowengartner came with some “serious cheese” in spring training. Cubs fans are no stranger to seeing the “cheese” that Quade speaks of. He would regularly reach the 100 mph mark during his rookie season with the organization in 1993. In fact, it was so impressive, that a documentary was made to chronicle that magical season titled “Rookie Of The Year.” Many will recall from this documentary that it was legendary Cubs pitcher, Chet Steadman, that mentored young Henry that season. Rowengartner still credits Steadman today for teaching him all he knows, saying that he owes him his career. Rowengartner’s career, however, was threatened in 1997. That was the year Chet Steadman passed away due to liver failure. Henry took it extremely hard and began abusing drugs and alcohol. His game would suffer because of it and on more than one occasion, he would be sent down to triple A Iowa and at times, was so bad, he would just be sent home all together. But the numerous number of worthless managers the Cubs went through who never could get the team to the world series never gave up on Rowengartner. His career even seemed to be turning around in 2000, but it was discovered that year that he had begun taking steroids at the urging of then right fielder, Sammy Sosa. Rowengartner was so embarrassed, that he quit the game altogether and did not return until 2002. He would then face yet another setback, however, when pitcher Mark Prior made his debut that season and was so impressive, that he would eventually take the number 2 spot in the rotation that Rowengartner was vying for. Henry says he then made a decision that still haunts him to this day, saying that “you know all those shoulder problems Prior started having and threw his career way off track? I did that.” Rowengartner would not elaborate, but said he still feels terrible to this day for making Mark Prior’s once very bright career all but disappear. Despite all of this, Henry seemed to be making yet another great comeback when, in 2007 and 2008, he posted a combined record of 29-13 as the Cubs solid number 3 pitcher. But in November of 2008, it all began to crumble again as he was spotted at Miller’s Pub in Chicago, partying with Steve Bartman, the most hated Cubs fan of them all. Rowengartener’s image took an enormous hit as fans felt betrayed. The following season he was booed mercilessly by the fans at Wrigley Field. He was visibly shaken by this, finishing the season with a 8-9 home record. He did not pitch at all last season with an elbow injury. So, here we are. It is 2011. It is Rowengartner’s 18th major league season and he knows this very well could be his last. “It’s been crazy” says Henry. “I will be nervous out there, but I just hope the fans are on my side now and they just remember that I used to be one of them, ya know? I was once just a kid sitting in the center field bleachers. Then one day, I picked up a home run ball that had been hit into the stands and I threw it all the way to home plate.” We will see if the fans are indeed on his side as he takes the mound for game number 1 of the ridiculously long 162 game season today. The Cubs hope that they will be able to film another documentary, much like “Rookie Of The Year”, and they hope that documentary will still be shooting come October.