Author Stewart Weiss (center) on his way into Wrigley Field for Game 5 of the World Series..
(photo credit: KAREN ROBINS)
There are certain extraordinary events in life which are so emotionally charged, so exceptionally rare that they create a glorious anticipation – along with an extreme anxiety – that can barely be described.
These events might include the birth of your first child, visiting the Kotel for the first time, and, if you are a Chicagoan, past or present, the Cubs in the World Series.
That was our feeling as we walked through to Wrigley Field, the iconic home of the Chicago Cubs, for Game 5 of the World Series
Outside the stadium, fans were dancing in the street, high-fiving one another and cheering the team on.
How many generations of die-hard Cubs fans had dreamed of this moment, yet never lived to see the words “Cubs” and “World Series” in the same sentence? Yet here we were, as if in a dream, about to live out the ultimate baseball fantasy.
There was even a booth of intrepid Chabadniks, asking passers-by if they were Jewish, and then putting tefillin on them, with an added prayer for the Cubs to prevail.
Inside the ballpark, we cheered with every pitch, rarely sitting in our precious seats. Tickets for the game, if you did not own season tickets, were among the highest in sports history; some of the choicest seats near the dugout went for as high as $50,000.
I won’t say what I paid for our three seats – I took my son and nephew to the game – but let’s just say that it’s not pleasant having to mortgage your house for a second time. But it was well worth the effort and expense.
For hours after the last pitch, delirious fans of the Cubbies rocked the stadium, refusing to leave, hanging on to that rare and precious taste of victory at the very highest level.
The Cubs, sentimental favorites of the baseball world, long-suffering yet determined, had finally brought triumph to the “holy confines” of Wrigley.
There is still an uphill climb to erase the deficit and beat Cleveland in its own home park. But win or lose, we are basking in the glory and savoring the knowledge that if you wait long enough, and pray hard enough, your prayers can and will be answered.