For years I have dreamed of watching the Cubs play in the World Series. Never did I imagine I would have the opportunity to actually attend a game. By the time the Cubs reached the World Series, I just never thought it would work out.
However, I entered the postseason lottery to have a chance to be among the fans to buy tickets. After not getting in for the Division Series or League Championship Series, I won the opportunity to buy tickets for the World Series. I could hardly believe it when I got the email. I logged in at the appointed time and was able to get four tickets to Game 3 of the 2016 World Series.
We arrived to Wrigleyville around 3:00 and took in the atmosphere. We met friends at a local restaurant for a meal before walking over to the park. The crowds were massive with people everywhere. We took a walk around the outside of Wrigley to take it all in. We checked out the statues of Ernie Banks and Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Harry Caray. Out behind the bleachers next to Murphy’s, FOX had their studio set up to cover the games. On the wall outside of Murphy’s was a sign that read “Pete Rose says, ‘Bet on the Cubs.’”
We walked down Waveland Ave. and then I went into the stadium. I don’t remember being at a game that was so full of people. It was nearly two hours before the game started but it was already packed with people. I went to find my seat and check out the view and then when my friend, Doug, caught up with me we wandered around all over the stadium to take it all in. It was a beautiful night for baseball. This was the first World Series game at Wrigley Field since 1945. 71 years.
Entering the game, the series was tied at one game a piece. Anticipation was high for this game as were the expectations and the environment around Wrigley that afternoon was electric. The Cubs had Kyle Hendricks starting and we all expected a big win with plenty of offense as the wind was blowing straight out.
The game started well for the Cubs as Kyle got in to some mini-jams but worked his way out of it. Offensively, the Cubs couldn’t get anything going either and it was 0-0 after four. Kyle got into some trouble in the 5th with two on and one out he hit the next batter and the bases were loaded. Maddon brought in Grimm who worked out of it with a double play. The crowd went nuts and you felt like the momentum was swinging to the Cubs. I thought in that moment that the Cubs would be able to pull out a win. Still though, the offense sputtered and other than a triple by Soler, couldn’t get anyone even to third base.
Edwards Jr. pitched a solid sixth but got into trouble in the 7th and the Indians scored on a single by their pinch hitter to take a 1-0 lead. The Cubs bats remained silent until the 9th when it was still 1-0 and Rizzo led off with a single. Coghlan came in to pinch run and after a Zobrist strike out moved to second on a Contreras ground out. Hayward knocked the ball to first and was safe on an error moving Coghlan to third. Hayward stole second and with Baez up, the crowd was ready to explode after a walk-off single or at least a hit to tie the game. It was not to be as Baez struck out on a high fastball and the Cubs lost 1-0.
We worked our way to the el train to take us back to our vehicles. I got home around 2 am.
Despite the loss, it was an historic day. A moment I will remember forever.