It started with a text to dead grandpa to ‘watch over the Cubs’

SHARE It started with a text to dead grandpa to ‘watch over the Cubs’
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Dan Yara (center) with his grandfather Walter Altmann and grandmother Sylvia Altmann at his eighth-grade graduation. | Family photo

The text message read: “Grandpa, watch over the Cubstonight. . . They can break the streak this year, they just need help.”

Sandra Sosin loves the Cubs as much as anybody. But she isn’t anybody’s grandpa.So the 32-year-old suburban mom was confused when the text popped up on her phone two weeks ago, just before the Cubs’ first playoff game against the San Francisco Giants began.

“I think you have the wrong number,” she texted back.

Three days later, she got another text. “Grandpa we need youtonight,” it said. “If they wintonightI think they can get to the World Series.”

Now, Sosin got angry. She says she had changed her number to dodge harassment from an ex. So she fired back: “Stop texting me . . . if you message again i will report to the police for harassment.”

Dan Yara, a 21-year-old senior at Loyola University Chicago, knows it seems strange to text his grandfather, Walter Altmann, who died four years ago. But Yara said he owes his passion for the Cubs to his grandfather — “I became a Cubs fan because of my grandfather.”

Besides, he thought maybe a little help from beyond the grave couldn’t hurt — “going above and beyond,” said Yara, who skipped classes in 2014 to go to the news conference where the Cubs introduced Joe Maddon as their new manager.

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts with Dan Yara, who’s holding picture of his grandparents Walter and Sylvia Altmann. | Provided photo

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts with Dan Yara, who’s holding picture of his grandparents Walter and Sylvia Altmann. | Provided photo

He bumped into Tom Ricketts there, and the Cubs owner agreed to a photo. In it, Yara is holding up the picture of his grandfather that he keeps in his wallet.

Told by a reporter why Yara had texted her number, Sosin said she “also became a Cubs fan because of my grandfather.

“When I was a littlegirl, we’d watch Cubs games together, and I would sit there and draw pictures. My grandfather had a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body and couldn’t talk really. The only thing I could understand is when he’d say ‘Holy Cow!’ like Harry Caray.”

Sosin said that, with the Cubs in Cleveland for their first World Series in 71 years, she’ll understand if another text to “Grandpa” lights up her phone if the team needs a lift: “I want them to win the World Series, too.”


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