In Illinois to cover both the Gophers football game on Saturday and Vikings-Bears on Monday, Chip Scoggins was once wondering what to do with a free Sunday in Chicago. And then the World Series blew into town ...
10:45 p.m. -- Cubs win. Series continues.
Cubs win. pic.twitter.com/h91sV2RW2M— chipscoggins (@chipscoggins) October 31, 2016
What a day and night.
9:46 p.m --
Fans singing along with seventh-inning stretch while standing in middle of the intersection.
9:15 p.m. -- When you don't have tickets, you watch on a TV in a window with the game going on across the street behind you.
The tape delay is a killer. Loud roars let you know something good for the Cubs is about to happen.
Said the guy next to me after stadium erupts: "Bet he threw him out at second."
8:17 p.m. -- The bar just erupted after Kris Bryant's home run and Anthony Rizzo's double back to back.
Two guys just high-fived me.
I think I'm officially in the club now.
7:54 p.m. -- Waited about 15 minutes until a spot opened up but found warmth and refreshment at a establishment outside stadium.
And no cover charge!
7:25 p.m. -- One of the buildings with rooftop seating put a TV in the window so us sad souls can watch the game.
Think they will bring us a few beers?
Said the wise young man standing behind me: "This is the difference between having a $1,000 and not."
But we're so close.
7:16 p.m. -- No ticket, no problem.
Fans gather in a spot along Sheffield where they can see the giant video board through a gap in the stadium seats.
7:12 p.m. -- Game is about to start.
Anyone want to invite me over to watch?!
6:53 p.m. -- What curse? Just a harmless goat on the sidewalk.
6:38 p.m. -- Dance party has broken out in the middle of the intersection at Addison and Clark.
Cubs fans getting ready for Game 5. pic.twitter.com/gsuYluQfwZ— chipscoggins (@chipscoggins) October 31, 2016
6:28 p.m. -- Fans checking out the end of the Packers-Falcons game from outside the bar.
6:22 p.m. -- Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" is blaring inside Wrigley.
And the drums just hit.
OK, that was awesome.
6 p.m. -- A little more than an hour until first pitch.
Found a scalper who wants $1,000 for a standing room only ticket.
A peanut vendor is standing nearby trying to sell to massive crowds flowing past him.
"They're cheaper on the outside," he yells.
Yes, everything is cheaper out here.
5:05 p.m. -- Chris Desmond took a piece of chalk and scribbled on the outside brick wall of the stadium along Sheffield. His message:
Fans left chalk messages on the wall all day.
Desmond has been a season-ticket holder since 2002. His father Barry is 69 and has followed the Cubs since he was 14.
Chris always told his dad that if the Cubs ever make it to the World Series, they're going.
"He said he'd never see a World Series in his lifetime," Chris said.
On Saturday, Chris surprised his dad by telling him they had tickets to Game 5.
"Pretty shocking," Barry said.
Barry took his son to many Cubs games over the years.
"I thought games only had seven innings because after the seventh inning stretch, we were out of there," Chris said laughing. "It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized there are nine innings in baseball. Right dad?"
Turning serious, Chris said: "It's a dream come true when you can take your dad to a World Series game. Nothing better than that."
4:55 p.m. -- Ran into major bottleneck in front of the firehouse at the corner of Waveland and Seminary.
Turns out, Weber was grilling up hot dogs and giving them away for free.
In that case, cheers!
4:35 p.m. -- Fans gather on the corner of Waveland and Kenmore, waiting for players to clear the stadium in batting practice.
It's a bunch of people staring up into the sky hoping a souvenir will fall.
4:10 p.m. -- Trevor Doden grew up in Red Wing and played hockey at Augsburg College.
He was raised on Cubs baseball.
His grandfather lived on a farm in Iowa and grew up listening to Cubs games on the radio in the 1950s.
He later introduced Cub fandom to his son who, in turn, introduced his son, Trevor, to Cubs baseball.
Trevor has a great-uncle who was buried in his Cubs hat.
Doden took a job transfer to Chicago this summer. He lives on the 20th floor of a high rise six blocks from Wrigley.
He can see the grandstand from his home office.
"It's been a dream come true," Doden said. "To be able to walk to Wrigley and go to a game is surreal."
Doden and a friend planned to find a bar somewhere in Wrigleyville to watch Game 5.
3:50 p.m. --
Reminds me of the State Fair. Without the pork chop on a stick.
2:45 p.m. -- Fans crowd around an entrance to Wrigley and spill into the street, their phones out, clearly trying to get a glimpse of someone, presumably a player.
Stadium workers crush those hopes by pulling a curtain attached to a line across Waveland Avenue, guaranteeing privacy.
Fans boo as the curtain goes up and some unidentified player crosses the road and into the stadium.
"This is a waste of time," a man says.
2:25 p.m. -- Sean Folan turned 9 years old Sunday.
His birthday wish? To hang out in Wrigleyville with his family.
Sean wore his Kris Bryant jersey with a ribbon that let everyone know it is his birthday.
Cool kid. Awesome birthday.
2:00 p.m. --
Finally found a bar that isn't charging cover to get in.
Might post up here for a while to watch a little NFL.
Water only though. Still on the clock.
1:45 p.m. -- Hey, I was thirsty. Beats a $100 cover charge.
12:45 p.m. -- The line to the Wrigley box office snakes along Clark Street. Fans were camped out for hours waiting to get their tickets.
A pizza delivery man walked down the other side of the street when someone yelled "Pizza dude!!"
A group of fans had ordered from line.
The delivery guy dodged traffic and ran across the street to make the handoff.
Veteran move by that group. Spicoli would be proud.
12:15 p.m. -- Chicago Firehouse Engine Co. 78 is located on Waveland Ave., across the street from Wrigley.
Fire department officials open the doors and allow fans to visit and snap photos of Engine 78.
Retired Yonkers, N.Y., police officer Billy Cobb stopped in to say hello and to thank firefighters for their service.
Billy and his brother Chris are Yonkers natives and became Yankees fans "out of the womb."
Billy also started rooting for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1980s.
Billy called his brother after Derek Jeter retired from the Yankees and said, "Hey listen, I'm going to become a Cubs fan."
So here they are before Game 5.
Billy moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C., upon retirement from the police force. The owner of his housing complex is a diehard Cubs fan and named streets after Wrigleyville streets. Cobb lives on Waveland Dr.
The two brothers bought two tickets in the bleachers.
How much did that set them back?
"We made a pact not to talk about that," Billy said laughing.
Said Chris: "Put it this way: It was significantly cheaper than it would have cost us yesterday (before Game 4 loss)."
11:35 a.m. -- Max Andrle is playing catch with his dad and younger brother in the middle of Kenmore Avenue, which sits right behind the left field bleachers and is a fan favorite for souvenir collectors looking for home run balls.
In June, Andrle moved into an apartment in the fourth house on the street, about 30 yards from the left field wall.
Normally, maybe 10 fans will stand in the street before regular-season games hoping to grab a home run ball.
For Game 3 on Friday night, Andrle estimated 80 people were parked in that spot.
Andrle watches games on TV with his windows open. There is a slight TV delay and he's learned to predict what will happen based on the cheers he hears real time.
"You can tell by how lengthy the cheer is what sort of hit there was," he said. "If there's a double, you hear an initial cheer and then as they round first and get to second, there's another cheer."
11:35 a.m. -- Doh! Spoke too soon.
Murphy's now has a $100 cover after not charging on Friday.
(Note to bosses: Don't worry, I won't expense it.)
I spoke with Murphy's general manager Freddy Fagenholz earlier this week.
Fagenholz said his bar received several thousand phone calls over two days.
Almost every caller asked the same three questions: are you charging; do you take reservations; what time do you open.
I asked Fagenholz if he had enough beer on hand to handle the crush of fans.
"Yes we do," he assured.
11:10 a.m. --
The street corner outside the iconic Wrigley Field sign is jammed with fans taking photos.
Strangers take turns passing their phones to take photos in front of the sign. I snap photos for three different families in a 5-minute span.
Wonder how many of photos taken in that location end up on Christmas cards?
10:15 a.m. -- Nathan Atkins places a green apple on the statue of Harry Caray. Other fans have left green apples too.
Apparently it's a tribute to a famous quote from the legendary Cubs broadcaster.
Atkins is a 31-year-old attorney living in New York. He came to Chicago for the weekend to witness the spectacle.
Atkins grew up in Oklahoma and became a Cubs as a kid because their games were televised on WGN during the daytime when he got off the bus from school.
He idolized Ryne Sandberg. He wore his Sandberg jersey on Sunday.
Atkins purchased his plane ticket to Chicago minutes after the Cubs made the final out to clinch their World Series berth.
Then he immediately walked outside, spun around three times and spit on the ground.
"I felt like just by buying the ticket I had cursed us with horrible karma," he said.
Atkins watched all three games from Wrigleyville bars. He arrived at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and spent 12 hours inside landmark bar Cubby Bear. He paid the $100 cover charge.
He came by himself and has loved every minute of it. Well, except the losses in Games 3 and 4.
"I'm having a near religious sports experience," he said. "It's really hard to describe the emotions of this whole thing."
Now about that green apple. Atkins bought it at a store in Chicago and left it on the Caray statue.
Caray once famously told viewers that "as sure as God made green apples some day the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series."
9:50 a.m. --
My cab stops outside Wrigley Field. First pitch is more than nine hours away.
I'm late to the party.
Fans are already filling sidewalks, snapping photos and waiting for bars to open. I think I'm the only person within a 10-mile radius not wearing a Cubs hat or shirt.
Many Wrigleyville establishments have cover charges during the World Series, a few as high as $250. Just to watch the game on TV.
The line to get into Murphy's Bleachers is 30 deep. Doors open at 11 a.m. Murphy's has no cover charge. My Star Tribune bosses will be happy I picked this spot later today.