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What The Cubs Mean To Me: Cub Fans Share Their Favorite Memories

By Justin Breen | October 22, 2016 8:21am | Updated on October 24, 2016 12:45pm

CHICAGO — We asked Cubs fans to share their favorite memories of their favorite team.

Fans provided some vivid memories of their time at Wrigley Field, how the Cubs have been a key facet of their lives and how their late relatives would have loved this year's team.

Check out the responses below.

If you would like to add your story to this list, you still can. Email your submission to Senior Editor Justin Breen at jbreen@dnainfo.com with your name and hometown (include your neighborhood if you live in Chicago). Please also include a photo with a caption of who's in the photo and where it was taken.

A win for his dad

This picture is of me and my dad, Tim. It was taken by our neighbor in 1983, I was around 2 years old. My parents raised me as a Cubs fan from the moment i left my mother's womb. Dad passed away from colon cancer in 2010 and wasn't able to see what we all saw [Saturday] in his lifetime. We would have and should have watched this game together. I cried like a baby after the final double play and will cry even harder when the Cubs win the world series. My first thoughts are always about him and all of the Cubs games we watched and went to.

David Guyon, Montclare

A marriage of love and Cubs

I met my wife, Jackie, at a Cubs game on one of the rooftops on April 5, 2014. It was a cold, early season game and the Cubs lost, but the beer was cold and I met my future wife! She was a Sox fan at the time, but I've since converted her (I think that's why her father doesn't like me). We just got married in August and are hoping this is the year for our Cubbies! We will be cheering them on, as always! Go Cubs!

Nate Rogers, Wicker Park

It finally happened

David Porter, Lindsay Porter and her son CJ at a Cubs game in 2014. [Lindsay Porter]

We would get there early for batting practice — all 5 of us — and stay until the last out of the second game of a doubleheader. We always sat in the upper deck along the first-base line so we could see into the Cubs' dugout, and because the tickets were cheap. My mom brought tuna sandwiches and apples for us kids, and her needlepoint and New Yorker magazine because she knew we were in it for the long haul.

My dad got us all scorecards because you can't go to a game if you don't keep score. We could see the guys on the rooftops, sitting in their lawn chairs and grilling on little hibachis. There were "bums" in the bleachers, and vast swaths of empty seats. Sometimes my brother and sister and I got bored and we ran around in our section. There was plenty of room to run. And grumble and curse and dream of a day when our team wouldn't suck so bad. "Don't say 'suck,'" my mom would say. "It's so vulgar."

"They're our team, win or lose. We don't mind suffering. We are diehard fans," my dad would remind us on the (many) occasions when they lost even though it looked like it took a lot out of him to say it. And when they won, he would smile and buy us ice cream in little plastic novelty Cubs hats and he'd joke around with the vendors and the Andy Frain ushers in their blue uniforms with the ties and jackets with the gold buttons.

The season always ended with the mantra "wait 'til next year". And the next years came and they went and there was more waiting and more turns around the sun and everything changed at the ballpark except that phrase: wait til next year. They flirted with success a time or two. And I was there at Game 6 in 2003, when the World Series was in reach and a bunch of guys got spooked by a foul ball and a goat and a million or so people who got spooked along with them. When they lost Game 7 the next night, my dad left me a voicemail message. "It's your old dad. I'm going to bed. I'm sorry I ever made you a Cubs fan."

So tonight, when I called that guy — my dad, the one who made me a Cub fan, the stoic lawyer who sees the downside, the catch, the cloud in every silver lining — and that man said, "Isn't it wonderful?" and then his voice broke and quivered and he said that he loved us all, and then caught himself and warned us of everything that could go wrong in Cleveland...well, today I can honestly say I'm happy he made me a Cubs fan.

Lindsay Porter, West Ridge

"Ushering" in a new era

I was an Andy Frain usher in 1945 the last time the Cubs were in the World Series.

I got the job through our Calumet High School baseball and basketball coach Johnny Ivers, who was a captain for the Andy Frain usher organization.

Many of the young men had not yet returned from serving in the military during World War II so Ivers and other high school coaches who worked for Andy Frain were called upon to recruit young athletes from the high school ranks to work as ushers.

I lived on the Far South Side of Chicago around 90th and Elizabeth and to get to Wrigley Field I had to take a street car and transfer several times.

As I recall I was paid a "whopping" three dollars for each game I ushered at Wrigley Field.

I remember vividly the first World Series game I worked I was assigned to a section of the upper deck along third base and the left field line.

I'm almost 88 years old now and still live on the Southwest Side of Chicago after serving in the Army during the Korean War and then working as a press agent in Hollywood for CBS Television.
Go Cubbies.

Bill Corcoran, Beverly

A 22-run salute and a loss

On my 22nd birthday, the Cubs honored me by scoring 22 runs ... and losing the game. I have been a die-hard fan of these loveable losers ever since. May 17, 1979 vs. Phillies. Wind was howling out. Every fly ball was a homer. Mike Schmidt homer in the 10th off Bruce Sutter that was the deciding blow.

Kevin Huigens, Berwyn

A case of mistaken identity

Too many years have passed for it to matter much to anyone anymore. But it happened to me, and I think I never got over it.

The year was 1969, a year Cubs fans know only too well.

I decided to take a couple of my friends I grew up with in Park Ridge to see the Cubs play. We got bleacher seats for either 50 cents or $1, I forget.

Baseball was one thing I knew a lot more about than my friends, who were always wont to rub their knowledge on me at the slightest thing.

We got to the ballpark early and were standing outside when suddenly a black limousine pulled up, and I knew exactly who it was. My heart was racing. Here was my chance to show up my friends once and for all.

Suddenly the door opened, and my friends stood silent as I ran up to the player to send my personalized greeting.

"Good afternoon, Mr. [Glenn] Beckert," I proudly recited before my friends.

Much to my shock, I instantly blurted out a mistaken identity.

"Sorry, son, you got the wrong guy," Don Kessinger said, as he smiled, patted my head, my and walked away.

There I was, half shocked, half stupefied by my inability to connect face with name in an instant.

My chance for redemption and glory were lost. But the opportunity for my friends to have yet another one up on me was not quickly forgotten

Bill Mazer, Sacramento, Calif.

Wishes her dad could see this year's team

My dad, Glenn Hughes, born and raised in the North Side of Chicago, was a die-hard Cubs fan. Unfortunately, last July he lost his battle with cancer and wasn't able to see his amazing Cubbies. He was a talented artist who drew many caricatures of the Cubs players, including this one with Anthony Rizzo. He would be so proud of his Cubbies!!!

Katie Hughes, Jefferson Park

For her grandma

My late grandmother, Margaret Tatman, of Savoy, Ill., was the most loyal and Cub-loving woman I will ever know. It is because of her that cheering for the Cubbies has been a family affair.

I remember sitting with her, doing puzzles while listening to games on her old, built-in radio. You better believe no matter if the play was good or bad, she was yelling something at that radio!

Many times she expressed her hope the Cubs could "win it once before I die"; she wanted it so bad...but sadly never got the chance to see one of her biggest dreams come true.

She passed away on May 3, 2007 at 85 years young. She loved the Cubs her entire life, so why should her funeral be any different? She was buried in a full Chicago Cubs uniform, including the hat! We sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" as a pre-processional stretch, and, when it was time to lower her to her final resting space, we were all shocked to see the Cubs logo lasered into part of her cover.

She truly was a diehard fan. When she passed away without one of her biggest dreams coming true, it felt like a dream inside all my family died, too. The fire has been lit and the flame that turns those dreams into reality is burning brighter.

In hopes of bringing my grandma's spirit and love for the Cubbies alive this postseason, I created #FortheloveofMargaret. People, places and companies from all over have been using it and sharing. Sharing her LOVE AND PASSION for the Cubbies and I am hoping her story keeps getting told.

Most importantly it has brought my family closer together. We watch with a bigger purpose and an extra reason to cheer loud. We are cheering for Margaret, too. We are thankful to have her has our 10th man, our angel in the outfield. If the Cubbies make it to the World Series, I am hoping that my family can reunite and watch at least one game together.


Whitney Tatman, Mahomet, Ill.

Living 195 steps from Wrigley Field

After moving to Chicago in 1999 it was an experience to live in Wrigleyville just 195 steps from Wrigley Field. 

My roommates were life long Cubs fans and educated me daily in the history of the ball team and the characters that have always surrounded.

Many of my initial dates with my wife were at Cubs games and I'm convinced she agreed to go out with me because I shared a first name with a Grace-ful first baseman she always had a crush on.  To my wife it's that and many lasting memories with her dad and family who are longtime Cubs fans with pictures to prove it.

If the Cubs can find a way to make it into the World Series, it will go a long way to my wife considering to forgive me for jinxing the 2003 team.

We had been watching each playoff game with friends at a small neighbor bar, Cody's Public House, and it was during game six with just a few outs left when I over joyously shouted "We got this thing!".... My wife turned to me and very seriously said "Shut! Up!" The next play was a flyball down the third-base line and my fate of years of blame had been sealed. 

So for me and Chicago's Steve Bartman forgiveness, please Cubs find a way to make this happen!

Mark Karhoff, Logan Square

A lifelong fan

The fan, Tom Schraeder, and Phil Regan in 1969. [Provided]

The Cubs have been a part of me since I was a little boy. In 1969 my brother and sisters went to over 60 home games and came very close with Cubs players. Phil Regan, Ron Santo, Bill Hands, Glenn Beckert, Kenny Holtzman, Rich Nye all gave us rides home from the games because we lived on their way home.

In fact on my 11th birthday Mike Murphy (batting practice pitcher) came out and gave me an autographed baseball and two huge packs of Wrigley's gum. He said to me "Hey Tommy, the guys wanted to say Happy Birthday!" So for me it's more than baseball, it's personal, it's a great time in my life.

In the Cubs We Trust!

Tom Schraeder, Jefferson Park

The best 101-year-old fan around

My mom Rose Torphy is the greatest Cubs fan I know. She is 101 years old and never misses watching a game.

She attended her first Cubs game at Wrigley field in 1929. She said her dad brought her for “Ladies Day” and she got in for 1 dollar. They lived on the South Side of Chicago and took the street car to the ballpark for 7 cents. She remembers wearing a long dress and heels because you dressed up to go the ball game back then.

She still reads the sports page every day and keeps up with all the stats on ”her boys”. She is absolutely thrilled at their performance this year and she is sure that she is going to see her Cubbies win the World Series this year. Of course it doesn’t hurt that she adds them to her prayers every day.

Cheri Stoneburner, Fox Lake, Ill.

A great birthday present

When my family and I celebrated my birthday in 2011.

I have been waiting a long time. From my home in Honolulu.

Richard Koziol

Her dad was the "biggest Cubs fan"

This is a picture of my dad and I when I was a Bat Girl around the summer of 2001. My dad was the biggest Cubs fan, and would never even think about giving up on them. He passed away in August of 2015, and I know that he's still cheering them on. Go Cubbies!

Karly Zucker, DeKalb, Ill.

Dad loved the Cubs

Sue Ekins' dad, Joe Rudzinski [Sue Ekins]

Dad (Joe Rudzinski) was a die-hard Cubs fan and could tell you anything you’d want to know about the Chicago Cubs. He used to sneak into Wrigley Field as a kid, apparently there was one particular door where this was easy to do. Dad always knew all about the team they’d be playing next, which pitchers would be a challenge, and who were the toughest batters. When Dad was in a nursing home, they didn’t show the Cubs' games on TV often enough, so he bought a radio so he could at least listen to the games. Sometimes he had cranky roommates, but Dad kept listening whether they liked it or not. At the end of the season, he’d always say, “Maybe next year.” Dad passed away before the Cubs ever got back to the World Series (he was 14 the last time that happened). Not to be morbid, but we buried Dad with his Cubs hat.

When I was a kid, Dad took us to Wrigley Field to see many games. One time the Cubs were losing 9-0. Dad said, “If it gets to 10-0, we’re leaving.” The Cubs turned it around and won 10-9. Another time, we were on the ramps in the stadium and ran into the announcer Jack Brickhouse after the game. Dad’s tactful greeting to Mr. Brickhouse was “My gosh! You’re even more bald than I am.”

My three kids are all Cubs fans because of my Dad, even though their father (my husband Ken) is a Sox fan. So is my nephew out in Texas, even though he’s never lived in the Midwest.

As for me, I am thankful for the passion for the Cubs that Dad taught me and my two sisters and our brother. We have always been Cubs fans and especially enjoyed this winning season! My brother Randy is thrilled that he and his family came in from Texas to see a Cubs game with us this summer.

But most of all, Dad’s fervor for the Cubs set a good example for having passion for life in general. It is time I learned from my Dad’s passion for the Cubs and follow his example by being passionate about my own pursuits including my goals to be a published author. Thanks, Dad!

Sue Ekins, Lisle, Ill.

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