CHICAGO (AP) — For the first time in 71 years, Chicago Cubs fans are turning their attention to the World Series.
Overjoyed fans streamed out of Wrigley Field and into the streets Saturday night in Chicago after the Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series to earn their first trip to the World Series since 1945.
“I never thought I’d see it,” said 49-year-old Brian Dusza, who also was at Wrigley Field for Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. “I can’t even describe what I’m feeling.”
Many people donned Cubbie blue and held “W” flags to celebrate the win. Two people climbed a traffic pole, with one man shimmying all the way to the end. Police said he was later arrested, as were a couple of fans who lit fireworks.
But the majority of the crowd celebrated the victory peacefully. Many took selfies in front of the stadium and hugged one another. Some also broke out in song, while others shook up beer bottles and sprayed the crowd.
Police, including about a dozen officers on horseback, kept a close eye on the crowd — and some officers gave high-fives to fans as they walked by.
Among the few thousand fans who stayed in their seats an hour after the game ended was Ed Koenig of Darien. His eyes welled up as he talked about his father, who died in May.
“I haven’t been to a game this season without him and when my friend won a lottery for these tickets, I thought ‘how am I going to go without my dad?'” Koenig said.
But his friend convinced him to go.
“I have his watch on,” Koenig said, showing off the watch on his wrist. “I thought I was going without my dad, but I’m with him.”
Steve Zucker, who’s been coming to games since the 1940s, said before the game that if the Cubs won, he would go to his father’s grave and leave a Cubs hat and T-shirt.
“My dad died playing cards, listening to the game on a little transistor radio, so I may bring that, too,” Zucker said. “Before this year, I never thought I would see this.”
Cubs All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo said the fans deserved to see this team make the World Series.
“These fans have been amazing since the time I got here,” Rizzo said. “We got four more big ones to go, but we’re going to enjoy this.”
Chicago faces the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.