High hopes in Wrigleyville

Picture via Google

Saturday, October 29 on West Addison St. Chicago, Illinois, marked the location of Game 4 of the 2016, Major League Baseball World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians, and I had the pleasure to witness it all.

Ask any Cubs fan and they’ll tell you from Game 1, that it was a must win do or die game, but for everyone on the outside looking in, Game 4 in particular, was a game for the Cubs to tie the series at two games apiece, and to say hey, we’re still here.

From exiting off the highway from exiting the Purple Line on Addison, the atmosphere was surreal. The energy was high, the people were anxious, and if you were draped in Cubs blue, you were automatically family. There was absolutely nothing you could say or do, to ruin anyone’s night, and it was all because their Cubbies were playing in the World Series and looking to end a 108 year drought. “No matter what, if they go to the show, I’m going no questions asked,” said Chicago native Kristen Church who now lives in Denver, and said she had “been born” into this Cubs life culture. “Come Hell or high water, I’m going to be here right at Wrigley field.”

A true fan, is one who sticks by their team through the highs and lows, wins and losses, and good and bad decisions. Whether you were in the stands at Wrigley Field, or inside of Addison’s most dedicated Cubs bar, Murphy’s Bleachers, you were a part of history. Either you were a diehard Cubs fan, a fan of good baseball, or just soaking up the energy down in Wrigleyville, there were people to talk to with some really unique tales to tell.

There was 76 year old Mike Green, who said he couldn’t call Wrigley Field anything but home, as he goes to almost every home game. “I spend more time here seems like than I do at home” he said laughing, “but really, it’s just a great place to be, I grew up here, my kids grew up here, and my grandkids are starting to get involved here at Wrigley.” When asked what makes Wrigleyville so special to him he said “well this is the place I met my wonderful wife, being back here tonight, watching our team in the World Series where it all started…I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Some people may not have found their love at first sight in Wrigleyville, but have shared some memorable moments with significant people like Jack Twitty. “I cried at first. I remember being with my dad and just giving him a big hug and embracing the moment,” said Twitty on the Cubs National League Championship Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. “He looked at me and said, now let’s go win the World Series! It was just a really special moment shared between my dad and I and I’ll never forget it.”

As the seventh-inning stretch approached, with the Cubs trailing 4-1, the fans began to grow restless, the chatter began to die down, and the dugout was feigning to make a play in order to get the fans back into the game. The Cubs did just that, they hoped, as the Indians exploded for three runs in the seventh, only to push a World Series comeback further out of reach.

There were a lot of emotions on the northern side of Chicago that evening following the Cubs loss. The people were saddened, few remained optimistic, and the rest…well quite furious to say the least. “It’s hard to swallow…seeing the other team celebrate on your field, knowing that they’re just one game away from winning it all in front of their fans, it really sucks,” said a devastated Trevor Morrison.

“Ya know it’s tough, rolling through the regular season, battling through the postseason and then reaching the World Series to be down three games to one,” said Julia Mason. “We as fans just have to stay positive. There were a lot of high hopes in the city tonight, but we’re not out yet, there’s no way you can count us out, there’s another game to play and I truly believe we have a chance to turn it around.” Maybe the optimistic Mason had more hope than others, but who’s to say she’s wrong for thinking the Cubs could do a complete turnaround. In order for the dismantled Cubs to do so, it’s going to take some solid hitting early on, great defense, and some hot handed pitching if the Cubs are going to overcome a two game deficit and avoid yet another let down year, late in the postseason.


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