As a former “local” Chicago Cubs’ fan who now resides in Charlotte, NC., the trip back home is always full of things I can’t get here. While I do love the South, the visits back “home” are always special.
There will be more than a fair share of “bandwagon” Chicago Cubs‘ fans over the next few months. It’s won’t be hard to pick them out. A shiny new hat. No idea why Tinkers to Evers to Chance has any relevance. But that’s okay. We’ll take them. And living in Charlotte–and my wife will attest to this–any time I’m wearing my Cubs gear, someone comments on it. Always. But it was nice to mingle with the fans instead of simply “chatting” online with them. Cubs’ bars are rare down here, but I expect a few to spontaneously appear during October.
One that has always been there is the Getaway Cubbie Bar in Bridgman, MI. If you’re in the area and can’t make it over to a game, this is as authentic a Cubs bar as you’ll find. While we had tickets to Sunday’s game (more on that later), I wanted to be around other Cubs fans. Here’s the bars fan club page if you’re interested. Chicago is right across the lake, and it’s where my family came from. I’m a true Cubs fan, as much as one can be, and the Getaway is full of them.
I’ve known Tom Ackerman the owner through acquaintances, but we’ve spoken more through Facebook since I’ve been here in Charlotte. Social media isn’t always bad. Many of my friends still go to the Getaway, and even if you don’t know anyone when you walk in the door, you won’t feel out of place during a game.
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Food, fun and Cubs win!
Prices are fair, and the menu in itself is fun. Items like “The Schwarburger”, have been added, but you can always have a simple “Ryne Sandburger”. I had the “Rookie of the Year”. Italian beef covered in cheese. Seriously, there isn’t a bad choice. Need a seat? Slap the bell as you come in and the bar yells “Holy Cow”. Cubs win? Go Cubs Go comes in on stereo. Make sure to sing, it’s just what you need to do.
To finish off the trip, my wife and I went to the Sunday game against the Giants. It was our third together (Two at Wrigley, one in Atlanta against the Braves), and we were still looking for that first win together. We sat in the bleachers for our first game at Wrigley as the Cubs came up short against the Cardinals. But this time,13 innings later, the Cubs were victorious thanks to a few clutch hits, including the game-winner from Jason Heyward. Bonus points? I bumped into Wayne Messmer who was wandering around down the right field line.
While this wasn’t the typical post, I just wanted share my experiences “back home”, and why there’s no greater joy of being a Cubs fan the people you meet along the way. We’ve all suffered, saw some good–more bad–but we’ve never wavered as fans. And that’s why when the Cubs do go all the way, there will be no sweeter a joy to behold.