If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself within the past year, it’s that I’m actually capable of being a baseball fan. Seriously though, I was really surprised of this. In my entire 23 years of life I hated the sport, I thought it was the most boring thing in the world and I couldn’t get myself to watch it. Not that I ever gave it a chance before, I just knew that from what (little) I knew, it was boring and not worth my time. Like at all. Sometimes, however, I would wind up in the occasional conversation about baseball and there was at least one person who would ask me which team I would support if I was a fan. My answer was always the same: the Chicago Cubs.
So, why did the non baseball fan choose the Cubs, you ask? Their history. Let’s be real, they sucked for hundreds of years. But lets also be real, their fanbase is one of the greatest in all of sports history. When I see families that are Cubs fans, it’s as if it gets past on from generation to generation. You hear about their parents being fans, grandparents and great grandparents, all who never lost hope that one year they will in fact go all the way.
2016 was the first year I gave being a baseball fan a try. What gave me the change of heart? Well, my boyfriend is a total die hard. Literally. His family is a perfect example of the loyal fan base. He can name every single player on every single team, their numbers, he could probably tell you their stats too. Truth be told, I was a little overwhelmed in the beginning, like why baseball? I had watched the games with him and tried my very best to keep up – it was hard, believe me – but it wasn’t until my very first game that I understood the excitement baseball could stir up in me.
The view from my very first game.⚾️
My first baseball game was everything it was supposed to be: a great view, great people, and a typical city rivalry between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs. The game went into a couple extra innings with the Cubs continuing to tie up the game. In that last hour of constant cheering, screaming and chanting, I had become completely and utterly hooked on the very sport I had once despised. The Cubs lost that night, but I didn’t care. I was nothing but satisfied and grateful for the new experience that was brought into my life.
My second game, however, was one for the books. My very first Wrigleyville experience! At this point I was taking in baseball like a sponge – I think my boyfriend was more excited about my new found love for baseball than I actually was – and after hearing nothing but amazing things about Wrigley, I was not at all surprised that it exceeded all expectations I could’ve had. There was something about Wrigley that instantly grew on me. It was as if the place was alive and had more personality than the people you meet on the train ride to the city. It was all vibrant, and blue, and kept it’s old school style. I was more hooked than ever.
My first Wrigley game.🏳️
The Cubs won this game, and again had went into extra innings. By the 6th inning we decided to leave the stadium so I could experience the Wrigleyville bars for the first time. We headed on over to Sluggers, a bar found on the corner of Clark St and Eddy St. The first level is a bar with TVs and a projection screen that filled the entire wall for more satisfying game watching. Their second level has a bar, arcade games and batting cages. To be completely honest, I had never actually swung a bat before in my life. So, of course, I was talked into getting into the slow pitch batting cage…I don’t think I was too bad, but I did have a blood blister on my hand for literally 2 weeks after that.😅
I consider myself extremely lucky, because not only was 2016 the first year I got to watch the Cubs – and actually enjoy myself – but because 2016 was the first year, in 108 years, that they won the World freaking Series! I like to think I’m a good luck charm, but my father just thinks I’m spoiled. And what’s even better, it’s not considered “jumping on the bandwagon.”
The man who got me hooked.
Now, I feel like I wouldn’t be a true fan if I didn’t talk about 1 particular player that I admire: Mr. MVP, Kris Bryant! Let me just say that I was a fan of him before I actually got into baseball itself. You see, I’m the occasional Express shopper, and once I found out he was the new spokesperson for Express Mens, I was more excited than a child waking up on Christmas morning. So with that being said, Kris Bryant made becoming a baseball fan a little bit easier. I’m also a huge fan of his wife, Jessica Bryant. They, as a couple, are totally inspiring to me; from the support they have for each other to their playful nerf gun fights in the house, – follow Jessica on Instagram, they’re hilarious – and as a hopeless romantic, I eat that stuff up.
Just recently, my boyfriend generously donated to the Cubs charities at our last Wrigley game and I got to meet the wives who put it all together!
*Jessica is to the left of me!😁
The Cubs continue to grow and progress and improve, and as I’m going into my second season I couldn’t be any more excited to see what they have in store for us. It’s only been a few months, but I gotta say, I’m already impressed. Maybe they’ll “go all the way” for the second year in a row.