Quigley, Michigan Republican vie to be Congress’ biggest Cubs fan

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U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Illinois, holding the Cubs “W” flag, with his staff on the steps of the Capitol. | Provided photo

A fight is underway in Congress for the title of “Biggest Cubs Fan” on the Hill.

In the blue corner (from northeastern Illinois): Democrat Mike Quigley.

In the red corner (from southwestern Michigan): Republican Fred Upton.

“He claimed he was the No. 1 Cubs fan until I gave him the Upton quiz,” Upton says. “It’s about 20 questions — of course, I got to write it. But Mike did not get the perfect score. I did.

“One of the questions is: Have you ever buried a close relative with Cubs paraphernalia on? I did: my grandfather. In a Cubs hat.”

Upton, 63, who lives in St. Joseph, Mich. — about 120 miles from Wrigley Field — points to his participation in a batting practice session at the Friendly Confines, a perk from a cable industry convention. He hit a looper over first base.

Upton also cites his use of the urinal behind the Cubs dugout. And he puts this challenge to Quigley:

“Ask him if he’s ever sat in Steve Bartman’s seat?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, it doesn’t even come close,” Quigley, 58, whose district includes Wrigley Field, says of his friendly competition with Upton, who has referred to him in speeches as the No. 2 Cubs fan.

“I was 15 feet from Bartman,” says Quigley, a season-ticketholder who lives in Lake View and grew up taking the train in from Carol Stream with his dad to see the Cubs. “I virtually grew up in the left-field bleachers.

“Can Upton tick off Cubs rosters from the ’60s?” asks Quigley, who says he hasn’t been able to sleep after games this postseason because he’s so pumped up either with happiness or anger. “They’re going to kill me.

“As a boy seeing the ballpark for the first time not on a black-and-white TV, it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and has been an extraordinary constant in my life.”

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton on his office balcony with the Cubs “W” flag he says the Washington, D.C., police recently made him remove. | Supplied photo

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton on his office balcony with the Cubs “W” flag he says the Washington, D.C., police recently made him remove. | Supplied photo

Upton counters that he woke up his entire neighborhood twice last week when Cubs players hit key home runs.“I screamed in joy because I was so happy,” he says.

His niece, supermodel Kate Upton, is also supporting the Cubs this post season, Upton says, despite her engagement to Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander.

Upton says the Washington, D.C., police recently made him remove the “W” flag he was flying from his office balcony because that’s prohibited in a government building.

He also points to the name of his dog: Wrigley.

Quigley says he can top that: “My daughters have thrown out first pitches, and I’ve played football, hockey and baseball on Wrigley Field.”

They do agree on one thing — that they can sort out who’s the No. 1 Cubs fan in Congress for good after the Cubs win the World Series.


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