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The Writing On The Wrigley Wall

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Cubs fans left messages of thanks for the team, and it was beautiful.

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You might have heard that after the Cubs’ NLCS win over the Dodgers, hundreds of fans began writing messages of victory, love and thanks on the outer bleacher wall on Sheffield.

One of those fans was BCB’s own slcathena. She sent over a few photos and this description of what happened that magical night.

If you walked by the right-field wall after the game and left your mark in chalk like I did, you have Andrew Mathews and his friends to thank.

As the seventh inning of Game 6 of the NLCS wrapped up, with the Cubs up 5-0 over the Dodgers, Andrew headed to the right-field wall. He and some friends had gotten the idea to bring chalk to the field so they could leave the names of people they knew who were born, lived, and died without seeing the Cubs in a World Series close to the field. It started small, but soon grew from a group of trusted friends, to a bar full of trusted people, and finally to a crowd of joyous fans on Sheffield.

Like many others, they made their way to Wrigley from the pub where they were watching the game. Unlike others, they came prepared with hundreds of pieces of chalk. In the sea of people at Sheffield and Waveland there was enough crowd cover that they could begin writing their messages for themselves, and others. As they finished, they passed chalk out to a sea of fans who wanted to join in as well.

By the time I got to the wall about 35 minutes after the game it looked almost like a sanctioned activity, with dozens of pieces of chalk, and hundreds of people leaving their mark, for a brief moment, to say thank you to this team.

People left notes from loved ones who have passed, they left messages for the upcoming World Series, they asked for Four More Wins, they drew W flags. A friend I was with wrote an inside joke for her family and was giddy as she walked away from the wall, taking a picture to share with them. As is the case with many things in Wrigleyville, a few messages and images were a little juvenile, but the vast majority were filled with hope, thanks and love.

I took a picture of my small tribute - simply my name, a heart, and BCB, because as I was standing there, I thought of all of you and wanted you to be there too.

To their credit, the police seemed to understand that this was really harmless fun, and as long as people weren't climbing on top of one another to write higher, everything was allowed.

By noon the next day the chalk had been washed away, but it was pretty spectacular to see, even briefly, a small fraction of the love and hope that this team carries with them.

Andrew and his friends have no current plans to repeat this during the World Series, but if one were so inclined, they were kind enough to provide the following information:

Slate Chalk Pencils: available from Target on Clark Street or via Amazon.

Crayola chalk (white): available at the Walgreens at the corner of Diversey and Clark.

Blue Chalk: Dixon 88815 Railroad Crayon Chalk (72 count) available via Amazon.

All told, there were 72 pieces of blue chalk, 60 pieces of white chalk, and eight or so of those pencils.

Oh, and four more wins. Don't forget about those.

  • Special thanks to Al and Andrew for the background information in this post. Can't wait to see you all writing on the wall next week. #LetsGo!