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For Cubs fans, the hardest part is knowing who wasn't here to see the game

For Cubs fans, the hardest part is knowing who wasn't here to see the game
Chicago Cubs fan Britt Sparks holds back tears while kneeling next to the Wrigley Field brick wall in Chicago. (Matt Marton / AP)

The Cubs are World Series champions.

Cubs fans — including transplants, like me — have waited a long time to say that. A hundred and eight years, specifically, which is a very, very long time.

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As people celebrated the win, many are remembering their friends and family members who died before they could see the W fly.

Outside of Wrigley Field today, fans are writing the names of their loved ones who couldn't be there to celebrate in chalk on the brick walls.

Fans write on the walls of Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Fans write on the walls of Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Matt Marton / AP)

I watched Game 7 in a corner bar near my apartment in West Hollywood. As it ended, I turned to my husband.

"I can't believe my grandparents are missing this," I told him. Lifelong baseball fans, my grandfather died two years ago this month, and my grandmother, his wife of more than 60 years, joined him this past August.

My husband thought about it, then put a hand on my shoulder.

"At least they're watching it together," he said. (As if I weren't already in tears over the win.)

On social media, people are memorializing departed fans as well.

"It really made me smile thinking about how giddy my Dad would have been to see it," a friend wrote on Facebook. "As a lifelong baseball fan and former amazing pitcher, he would have been rooting for  the Cubs so hard tonight."

On Twitter, there was a similar outpouring of bittersweet celebration: "Really wish my grandpa were here to see this." "My dad was a lifelong Cubs fan… Look, Poppi, the Cubs did it!" "I know my Dad, my Busia and my great grandma are celebrating up in heaven."

A North Carolina man listened to Game 7 at his father's grave site in Indiana, reports ESPN. They had promised each other they'd listen to the Cubs play in the World Series together.

Even the Onion got in on it with a headline that read, "Millions of drunk Cubs fans rioting in Heaven following World Series win."

Names written on the wall outside Wrigley Field.
Names written on the wall outside Wrigley Field. (Tony Pierce)

I hesitate to say my grandparents are drunkenly rioting beyond the Pearly Gates, but they are definitely celebrating somewhere.

If someone could stop by Wrigley Field today and write "Wayne & Joan" on the wall, I'd be eternally grateful.

(Update:)

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Cubs fans: We want to hear from you. Tell us in the comments about the relatives you're thinking of as you celebrate the big win. Include photos if you've got them! We may use your responses in a future article.

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