AUSTIN - With the Chicago Cubs back in the World Series and the chance to break their century-long curse, there are many Cubs fans - including here in Austin - ready to see their team with the Fall Classic.
Matthew Heinze grew up in Chicago and has been a Cubs fan as far back as he can remember.
"It's been that way pretty much since I learned about baseball and what it was," Heinze said.
Being a part of a family that rooted on the Cubs, Heinze said it felt natural to cheer on the Cubs. He even grew up on the north side of Chicago, near Wrigley Field. He said all of the pain and sufferings Chicago's fanbase has gone through has made this recent success even sweeter.
"We've been losing for so long and we have that identity," Heinze said. "People bond over that and bond over the hope that is there. We have such a history."
The last time the Cubs won the World Series was in 1908, and the last time they went to the World Series was in 1945. During that 1945 season, the Texas Longhorns earned their first 10 victory season in school history under head coach Dana X. Bible. Austin had also just reached one 100,000 people in population for the first time in city history. For Austin music legend Willie Nelson, he was going to middle school in Abbott, Texas.
"We always dream about that one day, what it is going to be like," Heinze said.
Thirsty Nickel is an Austin sports bar with Chicago sports flags outside and plenty of Chicago fans frequenting inside. Heinze is a part of a Chicago fan group in Austin that gathers at this bar. While Heinze said it's tough to see how raucous his hometown is and to be there, he said Austin is a respectable alternative.
"We're still around a couple hundred fans," Heinze said. "Everyone's having such a blast and enjoying every pitch. People like the underdog stories. This is like one of the ultimate underdog stories. Sometimes you're an underdog just in the scope of one game or one season or series, but this is like over a century of being an underdog."
Heinze said he hopes to be back at the Thrifty Nickel this upcoming Tuesday for Game 1 of the World Series, a night that could yet again see hundreds of Austin Cubs fans flood into the sports bar.
For those thinking of going to Chicago for any of World Series games, it is going to be a hefty price. It will cost about as much as a gently used Ford Focus to get into games at Wrigley Field -- more than $3,500. The tickets for the possible final Cubs' home game are on track to be among the most expensive tickets in sports history.
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