One in a Life Experience – Cubs fan road to World Series Game 4

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For 71 years; for Cubs fans like myself, by September we all know the saying, “WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR.” For us, it was just normal.  To be honest, I really did not understand why I loved the Cubs when I was young and why there are millions of people nationwide that loved the Cubs them too.  I was taught to be a winner;  winner on sports, school, pretty much in life.  The Cubs were not winners, but yet every summer day I would cheer them on.

I was 6 year old when I was laying down on the hospital bed, when someone gave me a baseball.  It wasn’t just a baseball though, there was some autograph on it.  Remember, I was 6.  Someone told me that it read “ERNIE BANKS.”  Who is Ernie Banks?  They told me that he was one of the best Cubs players ever.  I still did not get it, “The Cubs?  They never win.”  Even at the age, I knew that but it was that baseball that got me to be curious about the Chicago Cubs.

Hospital bed?  May be I should rewind a little bit.  It was Saturday, February 28, 1981 (It could be 1982 but really doesn’t matter) and there was a kid out there that would love being active.  That means going outside and run around with the kids in the neighborhood.  Play hide and go seek, tag, football, basketball, and of course; baseball.  There is one thing that he liked doing, and that was riding his bike around the neighborhood.  So after waking up early in the morning and watching a little Bug Bunny, it was time to go outside and take a like ride on the neighborhood.  It did not matter that it was winter and cold.  The sidewalks were clear that meant that he could has rode the bike for a little bit.  It was Frontage Rd., two blocks from home, until a moving car hit the kids bike.  The kid flew off the bike and his head hit the city curb and then was rushed to the General Lutheran Hospital and was there for about 4 months on there.  At least, thats the story that people told me because I have no memory of that day at all when that car hit my bike.

Back to the baseball; so why would someone give me a signed baseball from a team that are not good.  I am here in the hospital healing and fighting to have a “normal” life, and I have a baseball from a loser team.  At that time, I liked teams like the Yankees or Dodgers that had players like Reggie Jackson or Fernado Valenzuea.  Ernie who?

When I out of the hospital and back in the neighborhood I was asking about this Ernie guy, because I have his signed baseball.  The older kids would tell me that he was Mr. Cub and he is a Cubs old timer.  Ok thats cool, but that was also the time when I was starting to watch these Cubs.  I mean what else is a kid to do during the day at 1:20.  There are no cartoons around that time. Soap Operas are not interesting to a kid and I am too old for channel 11 (PBS).  So I guess change the channel to WGN. That was the beginning of over 30 year of pain and suffering for me.

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Fast Forward 2016:  I am a sharing Season Holder for the Chicago Cubs for about the last five years.  I have been there every summer at Wrigley Field watching bad baseball.  There were players on the field that should be still in the minor league or players that no one else wanted.  Still, I would be there cheering my Cubs hoping that they win the game.  There were some promising talent for the Cubs but I would never think that in 2016, the Cubs would be hosting the World Series.

Being a Season Holder, we get to receive Cubs play offs tickets.  There are six of us, so all the tickets are divided evenly to all members.  In 2015, the Cubs had only 5 possible play off tickets available (not including the World Series which did no happen to the Cubs 2015). We draw numbers for these play off tickets and I drew “6”.  So pretty much I did not even have a chance for a play off ticket for the Cubs that year.  They had money but I had no tickets.

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2016, my chances to go see a Cubs play off ticket was not much better.  That was because this year believe it or not, I drew “6” again.  This year is better though because there were mathematically 7 possibly play off games at Wrigley Field.  Pretty much I could go to game 5 in the NLDS or game 7 in the NLCS. (For the record the Cubs won in game 4 in the NLDS and won the pennant in game 6 NLCS).

Once the Cubs won the NL pennant and they were going to the World Series, there were DAYS of 6 men fighting for World Series tickets.  We agreed a few years ago that IF the Cubs go to the World Series, everyone would have at least  one ticket to the World Series.  This year, three possible World Series games at Wrigley (six seats).  You think that would be easy.  No it was not.  Everyone has a ticket but the fighting was who goes to what game.  There were several people that he stated that if and when the Cubs get to the World Series they are going to sell their ticket.  I knew that those tickets were going to be expensive in the second market.  This is going to be the Cubs in the World Series since 1945.  That would mean that they beat the Billy Goat curse.  Cubs Nation is not only in the Northside of Chicago.  Cubs Nation is global.  There are going to people all over the country that would want to be in Wrigleyville.

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Going to the FIRST WORLD SERIES for me, I wanted to be in my terms.  I wanted which game and I ALSO wanted to be with WHO going to the game with.  This was going to be special to me.  I have never been to a Cubs post season game.  I have been a Cubs fan ever since I was that six year kid in the hospital with the “Ernie Banks” baseball.  So screw it, I said “I am going to pay X amount of money to get the rights of So and So’s ticket and I am going to Game 4 with “Name will be decided in the future.” and thats what happen.

There was a little curveball in there though.  People were willing to buy these World Series well beyond that I would image.  I mean, yes I love the Cubs and would love to be at a World Series game but, money talks.  So instead of really planning my day at Game 4, it was more of “How much should I list for game 4 and how LOW can I go with game 4 tickets?”  Personally, I was thinking that with the Cubs staff now, there was a good ODDS that they can be back again, at least not longer then another 71 years.  Do you know what I can do with $10,000? 9,000? 8,000? etc.  To be honest, if that happen two, three years ago, there was no way that I would sell this.  But because of external factors, money is not free flowing that it used to be.  Business sucks and may be to others, the world might be great but, I am not like everyone else.

So my tickets was on the second party market, I thought that I would get into some of the money.  I am not going to be KraZy about it.  And I knew that there was a amount that these were way to low TO ME, because they were not just World Series tickets it meant something to me.  I was thinking that during the week these tickets were sold and I would be counting the money.

October 29, 2016:  My tickets were still in the market and at this point, I felt like that EVERYONE that has tickets were selling their tickets.  Thats because the prices of the tickets were so high that it was even in the news reporting these prices.  The highest that I saw was $20,000 EACH.  That is a car, or a a downpayment of a house.  That is just insane.  The problem that there were so many tickets selling in the 2nd party market, there were prices that were just way to low.  There were people that they did not care about the Cubs or winning a title.  They just cared about the money.  It was a point that I should be out because it was too l0w.  Time to figure out Plan B.

That means that I decide who I am going to the game with, and how much they are going to give me.  My brothers, that were Cubs fans like myself, live out of state.  Next to that they are family men too so they cannot just jump on a plane and be in Chicago last minute.  A lot of my friends are, married with children.  Most of them cannot just drop everything and just go to Wrigley let alone they probably cannot just drop a large amount of money just for a baseball game.

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In the end, there were only a few more hours until the first pitch so I can have to pick who I want to be there with.  You think that was easy.  I found out that when you are, older, and more responsible, you are not spontaneous like you were before.  Next to that, just because everyone has a iPhone of Samsung s6, does not mean that they answer the phone or respond to txt.  Finally, I got someone that I got to go to the game and got some cash in there too.

Going to Wrigley Field to see the World Series is something that I will never forget, being a Cubs fan.  To me, it was like Christmas for Cubs fans.  To other baseball fans it whatever and especially to a non-baseball fan, they would never understand the vibe there.  Going to Wrigley Fiend in general is great.  Its my favorite to be during the summer time its just something that I cannot explain.  I cannot say that its not “priceless” because to tell you the truth, everyone has their price; but it is very close to it.

I walked down the train station from the Addison stop, and from there to Wrigley the streets were stocked with Cubs fans (and CPD everywhere).  I mean, I have been to games where the place is packed but, this was something else.  You knew that there were not only people that were getting in the game;  there were thousands of people that were there just to be there in the streets.  It was KraZy if you ask me.  It was wall to wall people walking in the the street.  Walking to the gate (which was always Addison right to Sheffield and then left to Waveland to Gate g) was not the normal feel.  When you get to the Bleachers gate there are always people there taking pictures but this time it was just a wave of people there and to your right instead of the vendor of Cubs t-shirts, it was FOX SPORTS there.

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When I get to Gate G (the gate where I go most of the time to my seats) it was just hundreds of people in line.  It did not take that long there but I have not seen that many people there before.  Once I got in there and got my seats at section 206, it was totally packed.  It was still 45 minutes until the first pitch.  The feelings that I had there was not the same for sure.  I have been to these seats for 5+ years.  Watched a lot of great games there, and some really bad games too.  I have made memories in there with different people there, but this time, it was different.  This was a one in a life time feeling in there.  Its something that I cannot even explain.  After most of my life watching, cheering, throwing or destroying things, I am at a Word Series game.  After taking a few pictures; pictures that I have taking hundreds of time, I just had to stop and look around the field.  There was something in my eye and thought, “The Cubs are in the World Series.”

I am not talking about the game in general.  Do not talk to about the the final score, or the fact that after the game the Cubs were down in the series.  Do not wanna talk about how it was so quiet when the final out of the game, and it was the first time even that when I left Wrigley Field and took the train home, that it was so quiet.  I guess that telling the story of me passing out/fainting in the top of the 2nd inning when Kluber was at bat with a 3-2 count, will be different story in time.  In the end I can say, “After 71 years, I was there when the Cubs were in the World Series.”

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