Some would say, “it’s just sports.”
But when the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series after a 108-year dry spell, something powerful happened. Baseball brought people together to honor those who didn’t live long enough to see it happen.
It speaks volumes about the importance of memorials and the unique ways we remember our loved ones. Although they may be gone, they’ll never be forgotten.
On the brick wall of Wrigley, what started as a spot to send well-wishes to the team grew into something much more. The wall was eventually adorned with the names of deceased fans — a touching tribute left by family and friends.
People are writing the names of loved ones who didn’t live long enough to see this all along the Sheffield wall at #Wrigley #FlyTheW #Cubs pic.twitter.com/VRkdaI6HzT
— Alex Nitkin (@AlexNitkin) November 3, 2016
Wrigley Field’s makeshift memory wall dedicated to decades of Cubs fans who weren’t here to experience a #WorldSeries pic.twitter.com/NO7CTGNQ1n
— newsburrow (@newsburrow) November 2, 2016
Listening with Dad
Others took the opportunity to spend some time listening to the game with their loved one. One North Carolina man drove all the way back to Indiana for game 7 of the series. He spent that night in the cemetery, camped out at the grave of his father.
The man, Wayne Williams, made a promise to his father that when the Cubs won the World Series, they would be together to witness it. That night the promise was fulfilled. Read Wayne’s full story at WTHR.
Decorating the Graves
The Chicago Tribune reported a story about several people heading to the cemetery to leave mementos and decorations to celebrate the victory. Graves of mothers, fathers, and grandparents were covered in Cubs memorabilia and inspiring messages.
Even the grave of beloved broadcaster Harry Caray received an enormous amount of appreciation. His headstone was decorated with beer cans, pennants, flowers, and bushels of green apples in response to his famous comment, “Sure as God made green apples, someday, the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series.”
Memorials are a Human Experience
Whether it’s hearing an old song, smelling a certain flower, tasting a favorite meal, or witnessing a World Series win 108 years in the making; there’s power in our memories, our traditions, and our rituals. And even though our memorials can come in different forms, they all serve the same purpose — they’re how we keep the spirit of our loved ones alive.
Do you have any special sports traditions? Share them in the comments below!