‘It’s finally happened,’ Cubs fans ecstatic at NL pennant win
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Ecstatic Cubs fans poured into the streets outside Wrigley Field Saturday night after a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series sent the team to its first World Series since 1945.
“It’s finally happened,” said 63-year-old Bob Drinkall. “I’ve waited for this since I was 5 years old. You never believe it’s going to happen. And now it’s happening.”
Cheers mixed with tears among the sea of Cubbie blue and “W” flags. Some people cried. Others hugged, danced and just jumped around in excitement.
“My dad died in 2009, and he never got to see the Cubs in the World Series, but I feel him here tonight with us,” a teary-eyed Ryan Patrick said as he celebrated in the streets. “This is the greatest thing that’s ever happened. And I’ve never felt so amazing.
“People have lived and died waiting to see this moment, so to cheer them into the World Series is special,” his brother Kyle Daby said.
“Cheering the Cubs to the World Series has been the greatest experience of my life, and it’s not over yet,” another fan, T.J. Leonard, said. “I cried when we won tonight. And if anyone tells you they didn’t, they’re a liar.”
Also outside the ballpark, William Rosales said, “I’m in disbelief. I’ve never felt better. We’ll be out here celebrating all night — and we’ll be out here the entire World Series for our team.”
Another happy fan, Lee Berry, said, “This is history, and we’re here making magic together. The Cubs finally made it. And I can’t imagine being anywhere else right now.”
Ed Koenig of Darien was still in his seat an hour after the game — among thousands who stayed. His eyes welled up as he talked about his father, who died in May.
Koenig said he didn’t feel up for going to a Cubs game all season after that. So, when a friend won a lottery for tickets, he had to be convinced to go.
He showed off his father’s watch on his wrist and said, “I thought I was going without my dad — but I’m with him.”
A few miles away, Justin Moore, owner of Barrel Maker Printing, began printing the Major League Baseball official Cubs’ post-season T-shirts. The company will print approximately 2,600 shirts an hour through the night that will be sold in sporting stores throughout the country, Moore said.
“I grew up in Chicago, so I’m a Cubs fan, and it’s cool to be a part of something in the city that’s so big,” Moore said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the Cubs’ victory “incredible. Absolutely incredible.
“We are witnessing history right before our eyes,” the mayor said. “Our Cubs just won the pennant. So fly the ‘W,’ Chicago. The fun continues in Cleveland on Tuesday night. Go, Cubs!”
Shawn Zuydema, celebrating with his daughter outside Wrigley Field, said, “I was at the Cubs game in 2008 when the Cubs lost to the Dodgers. This is vengeance. It feels great right now to see this happening.”
“We’ve waited for this forever, so we had to come out here and celebrate,” Peroulas said. “I could cry. We’re going to celebrate until we can’t anymore. This is for my brother — he’s got a Cubs emblem on his tombstone, so we’re celebrating for him.”
Muhammad Vaince, a lifelong Cubs fan, said he flew from Orlando to cheer the Cubs on.
“I bought a ticket and flew all the way out here, and it was worth it,” Vaince said. “Chicago deserves this.”
Even on the South Side, there were some cheers for the North Siders.
“I’m a diehard Sox fan, no rooting for the Cubbies for me, but the crowd tonight is,” said Renee Renaud, who said she’s been a bartender for 26 years at First Base, 3201 S. Normal Ave. in Bridgeport near Sox park. “We have a lot of Cubs fans. It’s like a sea of blue in here tonight.”