- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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It's a joyapalooza—see the people singing, sisters kissing, bank presidents gettin' jiggy. Forget the players. Only three of the Cubs have been on the team for as many as five years. Most Cubs fans have Cubs underwear older than that. This moment is for the fans, like that man, Al Yellon, who's at his l,6l6th Cubs game. ("I've hugged more men today than the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus," he will say later. Well, they did sing the national anthem before the first game.)
Alcohol is going everywhere but into people's mouths. In right-field Sosa is involved in another messy cork incident—spraying champagne on his fans. ("For the first time in my career I feel like I'm in the right place," he will say later.) At the Cubby Bear bar across the street from Wrigley, Joe Kraft is hoisting a beer, which he's going to dump over the head of his brother Pat.
Over there, sobbing, is rugged Joe DeSalvo. At 3:00 a.m. Saturday he went to sleep on the sidewalk outside Wrigley, hoping to get a ticket. He did. ("Man, my dad's been taking me to Cubs games since I was seven," he will blubber. "I never thought I'd see this!")
That woman flying through the air is Glynis Chess. All day long she's been trying to get her husband, Gary, to calm down. He's the big, red-cheeked hulk who's been coming to Cubs games since he was seven too. He used to get to Wrigley at 6:30 a.m. for a 1:20 p.m. game. Telling Gary to calm down is like telling a lion to go easy on the red meat. Hopefully, when Glynis comes down to earth, Gary will catch her. After all, he's the one who tossed her up there.
Pennant, please, before I die reads the sign of 89-year-old Cubs fan Beth Fisher.
I'm happy! says another sign, scrawled on a ripped-open cardboard box.
Hey, Satan! want to borrow my ice skates? reads a third.
Now, unfreeze everything!
Ralph Dynek looks troubled. "I don't know what to do now," he says, suddenly glum. "We're Cubs fans. We root for the lovable losers. It's the Crusade. But if we start winning, does that mean we're not special anymore?"
Ah, relax, Ralph.