Cubs' fans flock to Wrigleyville to celebrate

Cubs' fans flock to Wrigleyville to celebrate

CHICAGO -- Somewhere around the seventh inning of the Cubs' thrilling 6-5 victory over the Giants in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday night, Rick Jasinski turned to his daughter, Alyssa, and asked if maybe he should head home.

Rick made the journey from suburban Carol Stream to the establishments around Wrigley Field, hoping to see the Cubs lock up their second straight trip to the NL Championship Series (the Cubs will face the Nationals or Dodgers in Game 1 at Wrigley Field on Saturday on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT) but the Cubs were down by three runs and didn't appear to have much fight left on this night. It's a good thing he waited.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 7 CHC 1, SF 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 8 CHC 5, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 10 SF 6, CHC, 5 (13) video
Gm 4 Oct. 11 CHC 6, SF 5 video

"I said, 'Dad, you know bigger things have happened,' and we stayed," Alyssa said with a broad smile, as she joined the celebration on Clark and Addison with her father, a fellow lifelong Cubs fan. "Ninth inning, here you go and we had a great time."

"Why can't it just be easy, you know?" added Rick with a laugh.

More than 1,500 fans flocked to Wrigley to celebrate after the Cubs scored four in the ninth inning and pulled off an improbable comeback.

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Fans were hoping for the best but expecting the worst when the Cubs' 2-0 lead in the series seemingly evaporated, and the Cubs' past playoff heartbreaks still resonating in their minds. But as some in the excited masses pointed out, this Cubs team is a little bit different from the past.

"You know, that stuff creeps up, but not against this team," said Tom Felson, who lives on Addison about 1 1/2 blocks from Wrigley. "This team doesn't care about what's happening in the past.

"This team is built for now. They don't care about anything but now. They care about each other. This team, what else can you say about them?"

Tuesday's celebration was lively but certainly not out of control, with a large group of police officers watching the fans interact, cheer and celebrate. The perimeter ran from Racine to Halsted streets, with choruses of "Go Cubs Go" breaking out whenever a new group of people joined the party.

Fans hugged, posed for pictures in front of Wrigley and broke into chants of "Javy Baez" in honor of the multitalented infielder who drove in the game-winning run.

There were plenty of "W" flags to fly. Those who didn't have such an item could buy them on the streets. Jerseys from Schwarber to Santo were represented, but it was a somewhat controlled celebration representative of a group that was expecting a few more parties.

"There's a quiet confidence brewing here," Felson said. "This team is about to take over this city and I think tonight is going to be a big part of that."

"This is the year," said 17-year-old Brian Dezara, whose opinion was seconded by his friend Luke Nauman. "So much momentum. This is definitely the year."

Maybe the best analysis of the night came from a fan walking with two other friends but stopped to look at Wrigley.

"What the heck just happened here?" he said, punctuated by a few high-fives.

Scott Merkin has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2003. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.