WRIGLEY FIELD — Eddie Vedder will sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch Sunday, and there might not be anyone better for the job.
Hope springs eternal for Cubs fans, and Pearl Jam's front man is the embodiment of that unending enthusiasm.
Even after Saturday's crushing 7-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, sad fans exiting Wrigley Field cheered one another with earnest promises of "Cubs in seven." Sure, they were downtrodden — this has been one hell of a wait — but they weren't beaten yet.
And he holds out hope for the Cubs, all the way.
That's what we've heard from many Cubs fans this season. Whether they've been a fan for 71 years or seven, they're in it for life, and they're not bitter about it in the slightest.
Despite waiting his entire life to see the Cubs in the World Series, Rich Lynema, 57, said he has no intention of abandoning his team.
“I’ve always been a fan,” he said Saturday. “And I’m always going to be one.”
From Opening Day to the final pitch of the postseason, they'll keep their fingers crossed and their sweatshirts turned inside out.
Cubs fan Linh Quah holds out hope during Game 3 of the World Series on Friday, watching the end of the game with her sweatshirt turned inside out for luck. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
"There's always next year" isn't just a wry, disbelieving shrug — it's a promise.
Last year, Vedder's singing in the final game of the 2015 National League Championship Series rejuvenated fans as he wished for them to "come back, come back, win the game," in a lyrical switch-up to the ballpark classic. The Cubs lost the game 8-3 and were swept in the series.
Fans also held out hope, staying in their seats through to the bitter end.
And while there's definitely still a chance for the Cubs to turn it around Sunday, Vedder and scores of Cubs fans will stick with them regardless, forever hopeful.
All the way.
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled 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.