TAYLOR LIFKA ‘17
The camaraderie is undeniable.
In the bleacher seats at Wrigley field, there are no such thing as strangers.
The 102-year-old ballpark, on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois, is home to the Chicago Cubs, the Major League Baseball team that has been bringing my family, and so many others, together, for decades.
Something about the iconic red marquee that sits above the main entrance on Addison makes me feel like home.
As of Sunday night, the Cubs stand 1-1 in the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just three games separate my beloved team from their first World Series appearance since 1945.
A World Series Championship would be their first in 108 years. We’ve been waiting a long time.
Despite the fact that we have not celebrated a victory in over a century, Chicago Cubs’ fans have continued to rally together year after year for one common cause. While we’ve had some abysmal seasons along the way, it’s always worth it to be in the ranks among some of the greatest fans in the world.
Just ask Loretta Dolan, the 102-year-old Cubs’ fan who has been waiting her entire life for a postseason victory. Dolan has been tracking the Cubs for more than half a century; pencil in hand, she takes score from her living room, with scorecards dating as far back as 1963. She never misses a game.
“You know when they get up to bat, they haven’t got an angry look. They smile. They get up like they’re going to do their jobs, and I think that’s what keeps me going with them,” Loretta said (abc7chicago).
Loretta’s loyalty is unparalleled, and she’s invested herself in the hopes of a long postseason run. “Oh, I hope they win. I certainly hope they win,” Dolan said.
For many Cubs’ fans, the allegiance may be attributed to a simple love for the game.
Yet for most, it’s the energy.
It’s the chance to rally around something positive and it’s the high-fives from the random individual sitting beside you as Rizzo smacks one over the ivy-covered outfield wall.
It’s nostalgia for when a hot dog costed only 5 cents and a Budweiser just a few more. While times have changed, one thing has remained the same and that’s Wrigley field itself.
Wrigley Field is the second-oldest active major league park, (only behind Fenway), and the aura of simpler times is palpable the moment you walk through the gate.
The timelessness of the original scoreboard shines in the mid afternoon sun while the employees of the Friendly Confines welcome each guest into the ballpark with a friendly hello.
Next week I’ll leave Ohio while my brother boards his plane in Austin, destination: Chicago.
There’s something to be said for putting all of life’s never ending responsibilities on hold and simply heading home.
It’s not just a baseball game; it’s so much more than that.
It’s America’s favorite past time, and I can’t wait to watch this postseason unfold alongside those that mean the most to me, my family.
Let’s fly that W flag Cubbie Bears, cause this is our year.
Taylor LIfka ‘17 is a psychology major and a Spanish minor from Downers Grove, Illinois.