Cubs fans pumped up early, often at Wrigley

Cubs fans pumped up early, often at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- The Cubs played a game this late in the calendar for the first time in the franchise's history, so fans packed Wrigley Field early to celebrate it. Chicago fans sold out the ballpark for the third time this postseason, this time for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Mets on Tuesday night, which New York won, 5-2.

From standing room in the highest corners to the rooftops around Wrigleyville, fans were early and actively waving their "W" towels to mark the occasion. They had been active and loud for the NL Division Series, but Tuesday's game was even crazier.

When Wayne Messmer -- a Wrigley Field regular -- came out to sing the national anthem, fans supplied their own noise until the microphone worked. They joined in just as loud midway through the anthem and followed with "Let's go Cubs."

Messmer sings anthem

Former Cubs All-Star Ferguson Jenkins threw the ceremonial first pitch before the roaring crowd. Jenkins was the first Cubs pitcher to win the Cy Young Award and went six consecutive seasons with 20 wins.

Even as they trailed in the seventh inning, Cubs fans still belted out "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch, led by the late Ron Santo on the video board. A former Chicago infielder and broadcaster, Santo passed way in 2010 and was named to the Hall of Fame two years later.

Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.