CHICAGO -- Cubs fans came to their feet 20 minutes before the first pitch was thrown in Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on Monday. And many of them remained standing for the top of the first inning.
In Chicago's first postseason home game since 2008, which the Cubs went on to win, 8-6, the sellout crowd was loud and active, waving their white "W" towels for every name that was introduced during the on-field pregame introductions -- each cheer growing louder as the roster was announced, from the bullpen coaches to Monday's starter, Jake Arrieta.
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Fans had already lined up outside the gates before they opened two hours in advance of game time.
Having handled the task for much of the season, Chicago native Wayne Messmer sang a rousing national anthem before the Cubs paid tribute to their former second baseman, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, with a video montage before he threw out the ceremonial first pitch to the standing ovation.
Sandberg came out wearing an Ernie Banks No. 14 jersey to honor the Cubs legend and fellow Hall of Famer, who passed away in January.
The Cubs also remembered Banks during the seventh-inning stretch, when he was featured on the video board singing a past rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.