WRIGLEYVILLE — It was a beautiful night for a baseball game — and a 1-0 win for the Cubs in their National League Division Series opener against the San Francisco Giants.
Javier Baez's eighth-inning home run supplied the game's only run.
Javier Baez homer pic.twitter.com/oJQ8gusUjY— ⓂarcusD2.0 ツ (@_MarcusD2_) October 8, 2016
Diehard Cubs fans gathered in a variety of colorful and unique gear to show off their support.
Longtime Cubs fan Steven Jaeger, along with his brother Matt and friend Geoff Moore, donned Cubs apparel and floral decorations as they pregamed at a nearby bar.
"We're dressed in Hawaiian theme because we want to have fun at the playoffs," Steve Jaeger said.
Matt Jaeger and Moore were members of the now-defunct Die-Hard Cub Fan Club starting in 1965 and 1976, respectively.
"It's the Giants lose, Cubs win," they spoke in unison.
Many lifelong Cubs fans graced the Wrigley Field, including Jerry Pritkin, a.k.a. “The Bleacher Preacher,” who has been a dedicated Cubs follower since 1945 — when the Cubs last entered the World Series.
As a 50-year Chicago resident, Pritkin has become a Wrigley Field fixture with his eccentric handmade fan gear.
Another group of old-time fans, Warren Fabel, 84, Scott Ray, 72, and Kerry Ray, 55, said they are very confident about Friday night’s game. “This is our year,” Fabel said, predicting the Cubs will finally triumph at the World Series.
Wrigleyville also attracted a horde of canine fans dressed up in their best Cubs gear. Rookie the West Highland white terrier has followed her owner Kim Foltz, 58, to all the Cubs games. “I’ve been a season ticket holder for 25 years,” Foltz said.
Dogs were not the only non-human fans of the day — even a Pikachu cosplayer graced the Wrigley Field entrance to greet enthusiastic Cubs fans. Overheard from an unidentified fan: "I choose you, Pikachu!"
Parking restrictions began at 8 a.m. Friday and will last through the weekend. Game 2 is set for 7:08 p.m. Saturday, after which the Cubs will hit the road and could clinch in San Francisco.
Otherwise, Game 5 will be back in Chicago at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13.
If you're taking the advice of Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), you'll avoid driving to the game, where a traffic congestion hell dream is typical even during the regular season. The Cubs are expecting capacity crowds of over 40,000 during the postseason.
"I recommend you do not bring your car anywhere near the ballpark," Tunney said at a news conference Thursday.
Tunney was joined by officials with the Cubs and city police and emergency management officials in announcing plans for the postseason.
Before the meeting, he emailed a host of parking restrictions that start on noon Friday and extend through 4 a.m. Sunday. Among others, those include parking restrictions on Clark, Sheffield, Addison, Irving Park, Eddy, Cornelia and Newport.
There will also be full street closures beginning three hours before game time on Sheffield between Addison and Waveland and on Waveland form Sheffield to Clark. Other streets might be closed at the discretion of police, the alderman said, and residents should have photo IDs and proof of residence to enter certain streets.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green warned fans to be wary of scalpers or counterfeit tickets. He also said the team will not replace tickets if you lose them or they're stolen. And don't post pictures of them online, because scammers could try to reprint them.
The tickets, he noted, are "extremely valuable."
Police are asking grocery and liquor stores in the neighborhood to avoid selling champagne bottles during postseason home games, said Bennett Lawson, chief of staff for Ald. Tom Tunney (44th). That's likely to prevent massive glass bottle pile-up like this scene from the 2015 Blackhawks championship celebration:
Officer just busted a huge pile of bottles. "that's much harder to clean up!" Other guy says. pic.twitter.com/8XxD7Aj3q7— Ariel Cheung (@arielfab) June 16, 2015
Bars will use plastic cups during games for similar reasons, Lawson said. Officials have advised them to avoid overcrowding and expect occupancy checks over the next month.
On Wednesday, neighbors grilled the district's top cop during a community policing meeting, but received few answers in return.
"I'll tell you we have additional resources coming," Town Hall Cmdr. Robert Cesario said at the community policing beat meeting. "The number [of officers] depends on the day. We have different plans in place. Rest assured, we have additional resources coming."
Cesario did say plans center around Clark and Addison immediately around Wrigley Field, but there will also be additional patrols stretching out through the neighborhood.
During the 2015 postseason, police frequently blocked off Clark Street south of the intersection to prevent the crowd spilling out of Wrigley from heading straight toward the already-packed bars.
After one victory, police barricaded all four sides of Clark and Addison, causing swells of fans who angrily buzzed about not being able to access the bars before dissipating into the neighborhood.
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.