Wow! What a month! I’m still pinching myself to make sure last night really happened. After 108 years, the Cubs finally won the World Series. It’s been such a fun but exhausting month. I might go into baseball withdrawal now that it’s is over. What will I do with my evenings?
There’s been so much electricity and excitement throughout the city and I’m so happy I got to be a part of it so I thought I’d take some time and document some of my favorite things so I can help myself remember and share with you at the same time.
The start of the post season fun began on September 15th when the Cubs had a chance to clinch the division with a win. The best part was that my dad was in town to go to the game with me. Unfortunately, they lost that game but clinched overnight with a Cardinals loss. Since my dad was already in town, we decided to get tickets for the following day as well. I was worried about a ho hum celebration but shouldn’t have worried because the game was won by a walk off home run from Miguel Montero. The Cubs won 5-4. It was amazing and set the stage for a great post season run.
Squished hot dogs from the Wrigley Field vendors…yum!
First up in the post season was the San Francisco Giants. The first game of the best of 5 series was on October 7th. I got off the train from work that afternoon and decided to take Stella for a walk around the stadium so I could check out all the people and soak in the atmosphere. I stopped by the marquee to get a quick photo and noticed the ticket office was open. What the heck? I decided to stop by and asked if there were any tickets available and lo and behold, there were! So I bought a ticket, took Stella home and then hurried back to Wrigley so I could catch my first live playoff game. The Cubs won 1-0 on a Baez home run.
My friend Amy has season tickets so I went to visit her for an inning. The photo below was taken from her seats. They have awesome seats!
Next up was the NLCS. The first game in the seven game series was on Saturday, October 15th. I volunteered as part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago that morning. Open House Chicago is an annual event held one weekend in October. Many buildings throughout Chicago open their doors to be viewed by the public. It is a great event and I highly recommend checking it out if you are in town the weekend it is held. Since I was volunteering that morning, I didn’t have my phone on me. When I checked my phone after my shift was over, I realized I missed an email from the Cubs telling me I was chosen to buy tickets for the NLCS via their lottery system. They sent the email at 10:03am, the opportunity closed at 11am and I got the email about 1pm. Needless to say, I was super bummed that I missed it. Since I had to take the Clark Street bus back to my apartment anyway, I decided to stop by Wrigley Field to check out what the day of ticket sales situation was. There as a line and I got in at the back and started chatting with the people in line with me. The couple in line behind me happened to be visiting from Hawaii. 🌴☀️🐠🐬 They were visiting Kansas City (where they were originally from) and decided to spend a weekend in Chicago while they were in the Midwest. I told them it seemed like a waste for them to spend a whole day of their few days in Chicago waiting in line so I took their phone number and told them I would call if I ended up getting tickets, caveating it with the warning that I didn’t know how long I would wait in line. Well, that was at 2pm. Before I knew it, 2 hours had passed and by then, it seemed like a waste to get out of line. So I waited it out and finally got to the front of the line and bought 3 tickets at 6:34pm. The ticket window opened periodically throughout the day as excess tickets were released. The most frustrating part of the line was the scalpers. They hired people to wait in line and then once the windows opened, the scalpers would go up to the front with thousands of dollars in cash and hand it to their lackeys. It was the most annoying thing ever! And the fact that the Cubs did nothing made it even worse. I’m not against scalpers but this was ridiculous! There are so many ways to prevent this from happening. By the time the Cubs finally addressed it, these people had already gotten tickets. My hope is that the market was flooded and they lost money. It definitely deterred me from waiting in line on game day again. I highly do not recommend it unless the Cubs’ policy changes. The best part of this game is that I made new friends from Hawaii, got to sit with them and got to see the Cubs win on a Montero pinch hit grand slam in the 8th.
And then came the World Series. I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to get tickets to any World Series games but enjoyed meeting friends out to watch the games or watched them at home on my couch. There was so much going on. It was a great time to be in Chicago.
Stella’s walks turned into selfie opportunities for her. It’s really amazing that she didn’t chew my hand off in my sleep after doing this to her. She hates photos.
Stella and Harry
The police presence in Wrigleyville was incredible during the weekend the Cubs were in town during the World Series. The photo below was taken less than a block from my apartment. They used the sand trucks to block traffic. The Friday night the Cubs were in town (October 28th), I sold out and met some friends at Bar Celona on Clark Street. I say I sold out because I paid a $50 cover, which I swore I wouldn’t do. I also found out that to sit at a table once inside, the table had to commit to a minimum $1000 tab. Yikes! However, I also realized that they basically doubled the price of everything on their menu for the game and with 7 people at the table, meeting the minimum wasn’t a difficult task.
The photos below were taken while I was out walking around on Saturday.
The Cubs lost 2 of 3 in Chicago and went back to Cleveland down 3-1. But why should I ever doubt these Cubs? After an offensive deluge in game 6 (Russell hit a grand slam and Rizzo hit a 2 run home run), the Cubs were able to come back and win game seven and the series in 10 innings in a game that also included a rain delay. It was an amazing game. I was so nervous but it was all worth it in the end. Wow wow wow! What a great time to be a Cubs fan.
My friend Nick and I headed out after the game to experience the crowd and snap a few photos. I never experienced a mosh pit when I was younger and after last night, I know I didn’t miss anything. They had foot traffic so restricted that getting to the marquee for a photo was a harrowing experience. There were so many people and only one way in and out. Overall, I think the police did a great job throughout the playoffs but this was one time I believe they made a bad decision. They needed one way in and another way out so people could keep moving instead of having to fight against each other to get in and out of the area.
I decided to walk around Wrigley again today when I got off the train. There were still a lot of people around and the air was still buzzing with excitement. One neat thing was that the Cubs provided chalk and welcomed people to write on the bricks outside of the stadium. It was so fun to see. And of course I wrote my name and my dad’s name down while I was there.
Just one more event left – the parade tomorrow – and then we can start the countdown to the 2017 season. Go Cubs Go! 💙🐻⚾️