The roars erupted from Wrigley Field and its surrounding bars Saturday as the Cubs’ ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers concluded in a win for Chicago. The Cubs won their first game in the National League Championship Series 8-4, leaving three more wins between them and the World Series.
“This feels magical,” fan Kyndee Mathis said. “I’ve been a Cubs fan forever, and this is so huge to everybody that’s rooted for them for so long.”
After the game, fans poured onto the streets of Wrigleyville.
Rachelle Reisenaur — who came from Racine, Wis., and watched the game at the Sports Corner bar across from the stadium — said she is confident the Cubs will go all the way.
“They’re going to do it. They have to do it,” Reisenauer said. “I already have rooms reserved for the World Series here in Chicago. This will be the year. I’m sure of it.”
The excitement lasted all day, with fans flocking to Wrigleyville hours before the game.
John Roshel and his family celebrated four generations of Cubs fans while taking photos outside Wrigley Stadium before the game.
Sporting a “Go Cubs!” pin that pictured his grandparents, Roshel said he and his family were going to the game in their honor.
“It’s bittersweet to be here without them, but this is special,” he said. “My grandma lived to be 96 and she never saw the Cubbies win the World Series. She was here at 94 years old drinking at the Cubby Bear with us, so she would love to be here tonight.”
Roshel said his grandparents were lifelong Cubs fans, a family tradition that started with his great grandfather, who witnessed the Cubs win the World Series in 1908 when he spent the summer in Chicago while taking time off from working in the Indiana coal mines.
“He was 18 years old and watched the Cubbies win, so that’s how we became a Cubs family — from my great grandfather that summer in Chicago,” Roshel said.
Dave Palcek of Libertyville said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the Cubs’ NLCS run.
Palcek said he remembers rooting for the cubs in 1969 when they collapsed in the final month of the season. He said he hopes things will play out differently this time around.
“I’m 59 years old, and I would like to see the Cubs win a World Series before I leave the planet,” Palcek said. “I remember 1969 clearly, so I don’t want to get too excited.”
Still, Palcek said he is hopeful about the Cubs’ upcoming performance performance during the NLCS.
“I had to deal with the White Sox winning a World Series in my lifetime before the Cubs did, so now let’s hope it’s our chance,” Palcek said.
Jenny Wells traveled from Waterloo, Iowa, to watch the game from Wrigleyville bars with her friend. She said her favorite part about the NLCS game is the atmosphere.
“I have goosebumps just being here for the first game in the series,” Wells said. “I’ve never seen everybody in Chicago coming together to root for the Cubs, but everyone is supporting them now that the White Sox are out. Together, I think we’ll break the curse this year.”