Wrigleyville roars af­ter Cubs se­cure dra­matic Game 5 win

Chicago Sun-Times - - CITY BEAT - BY NADER ISSA Staff Re­porter Email: nissa@ sun­times. com Twit­ter: @ NaderDIssa

While the Cubs were in Wash­ing­ton tak­ing part in a thrilling win­ner- take- all Game 5, Wrigleyville wasn’t nearly its usual elec­tric self — un­til the team se­cured the fi­nal out and, with it, a third straight trip to the Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

The streets around Wrigley Field were mostly empty un­til the Cubs won and the team’s faith­ful poured out­side to reprise their rau­cous cel­e­bra­tions from a ti­tle- win­ning 2016 post­sea­son.

“I’m shak­ing,” Jes­sica Cas­tre­jon said out­side The Cubby Bear af­ter the win. “It’s like last year all over again. Baseball is tak­ing over my life.”

Cas­tre­jon was wear­ing her “lucky ear­ring” that she wore dur­ing last year’s play­offs.

“I lost the other one, but I still have this one on.”

In its in­au­gu­ral post­sea­son, crowds filled about half the Park at Wrigley, di­rectly next to the ball­park and Clark Street.

Juan Rudek, 64, was at the Park with his friends from Ge­or­gia. He plugged his ears and closed his eyes dur­ing a tense mo­ment in the Na­tion­als’ one- run 8th in­ning.

“I call it de­pres­sion,” Rudek said. “I’m go­ing to get a heart at­tack. I told him to grab some pills.”

Rudek, a Cubs fan since he was a tod­dler, said he watched the Cubs play­off games in Wrigleyville last year but has liked this year’s at­mos­phere bet­ter to this point even if there aren’t as many peo­ple.

A block down Clark Street, it was the same story at Wrigley bars.

David Strauss and his fam­ily own Slug­gers Sports Bar, 3540 N. Clark, where Strauss says the same num­ber of fans are show­ing up as last year’s NLDS against the San Fran­cisco Gi­ants.

But the crowds have un­der­stand­ably been smaller than dur­ing last year’s NCLS and World Se­ries.

“The only dif­fer­ence ob­vi­ously is the fact that they [ bleep­ing] won last year,” Strauss said. “A lot of peo­ple are just kind of wait­ing in the weeds un­til the next se­ries.”

Strauss’ dad opened the bar in 1985, af­ter which Chicago teams have won 12 ma­jor sports cham­pi­onships.

“We’re spoiled now,” the 35- year- old Strauss said. “We saw the same thing hap­pen with the Bulls in the early ’ 90s and then the Hawks.”

Au­thor­i­ties still pre­pared for large crowds. Chicago Po­lice spokesman An­thony Guglielmi said last week that there were ad­di­tional of­fi­cers pa­trolling the neigh­bor­hood dur­ing all NLDS games, though Clark and Ad­di­son Streets weren’t shut down as they were dur­ing last year’s run.

The NLCS is slated to start Satur­day in Los An­ge­les.

Fans cel­e­brate af­ter the Cubs’ vic­tory on Thurs­day. See more cel­e­bra­tion pho­tos at chicago. sun­times. com.

Cub fan Jes­sica Cas­tre­jon shows off her “lucky ear­ring” that she says helped the team win Thurs­day.


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