WRIGLEYVILLE — Despite the chilly weather, Wrigleyville resident Kirk Sells, 27, wore a T-shirt, lime green swim trunks and flip-flops to the Cubs opener Friday.
He held up a poster declaring, "A Little Hope Goes a Long Way: #Wrigley2014."
But beach attire was pretty rare among fans as the 41-degree temperature and 24-mph wind had most wearing knit hats, scarves and even down-filled winter coats.
Sells had been planning to wear the outfit all year in celebration of Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary, regardless of the weather.
"It represents the hope I'm trying to evoke," Sells said as he shivered in front of the Wrigley Field marquee. After both teams hitting nearly 100 losses last year, Sells said, "The weather's like the baseball in Chicago."
Passersby took photos or bumped his fist.
"I hope you're right, man," one man said.
"We're going to need more hope than that," a passing woman said, shaking her head.
Sells was not deterred.
"I plan on being here all day," he said.
Even those dressed more suitably for the weather shivered outside the field Friday. One merchandise stand at Sheffield Avenue and Addison Street sold out of Cubs knit hats, gloves and scarves almost immediately when it opened at 9 a.m., said Sara Soich, who's sold gear outside Wrigley for seven years.
Running out of items based on the weather is pretty typical for the home opener, she said. Every year, they either run out of ponchos because of the rain or hats because of the cold.
"It's never warm on Opening Day," she said.
Friday was a different experience for Jack M., 32, who's attended home openers in every city he's been in for 16 years and recently moved to Chicago. All the other opening days have been warmer, he said.
Jack, who declined to give his last name because he said he was supposed to be at work, and his friend Suzanne Penn, 30, opted to watch the game at a bar instead of inside the field on Friday due to the weather.
It's the first time Jack's decided to skip out on the first home game of the season since he started going to games.
"I've never felt this cold on Opening Day," he said.
"It's too cold, and it's too windy," Penn said.
But for longtime Cubs fans, the tradition of kicking off the start of baseball season was too important to miss — regardless of any suffering from the weather.
South Side resident Brian Molk said he brings his family to the first game of the season every year. One of his family members sarcastically said he wasn't sure why he was there as he rubbed his gloved hands together, but Molk insisted that this year was particularly special.
"It's the centennial," he said. "You gotta be here."
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.