Jorge Juarez was not going to let the moment pass. For years, every time the Dodgers reached the playoffs, he tried but failed to convince himself to follow them on the road in the playoffs.
Clayton Kershaw's Game 5-clinching performance against the Washington Nationals, which put the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs, changed all that.
"When they clinched, something kicked in," Juarez said. "I always wanted to do it but I never did it. So I just said … 'Let's do it.'
"We went on StubHub, checked flights, checked everything, did it and came on a whim."
Jorge and his wife, Christina, married last month, got up at 2:30 a.m. Saturday, put on their Dodger caps, left their home in Azusa and boarded a 5 a.m. American Airlines flight to Chicago.
They were not alone.
More than a dozen passengers donning blue Dodgers caps were among the fans who arrived at O'Hare Airport intent on getting to Wrigley Field for the Game 1 on Saturday night.
Chris and Christine Bergren of El Segundo planned a 24-hour stayover.
"I'm a huge baseball fan," Christine said. "I've been bugging him about wanting to see a game at Wrigley before they tear it down or do something crazy.
"So before the Dodgers even had clinched I said, 'If they go to Wrigley we've got to go.' I got him thinking that, probably, it wasn't going to happen. But he promised that we would.
"So [Friday] he had to go buy tickets online."
"Oh yeah," Chris said. "We got right behind the Dodgers bench."
Said Christine: "My birthday is coming up, so we're calling this my birthday party."
Jesse Romero of Chino built the game into his travel itinerary, even though he does not yet have a ticket.
"I'm a [Dodgers] season ticket holder," he said. "It just worked out that I'm also a [Dallas] Cowboys fan.
"So I'm going to the Chicago game and then driving up to Wisconsin to see the Cowboys-Green Bay game. It just kind all worked out."
Even without a ticket?
"I'll find a ticket," he said.