Spontaneously, beginning after the Cubs’ N.L. pennant-clinching win over the Dodgers on Saturday, October 22, fans began leaving messages written in chalk on the Wrigley Field outer walls, honoring the team and their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who didn’t make it to see this historic season.
This was the brainchild of Andrew Mathews (BCB reader saxattack29), but it expanded to include hundreds, if not thousands, of fans after the World Series win.
The Cubs sent out an email to fans Monday, signed by President of Baseball Operations Crane Kenney, letting everyone know how much they appreciated the messages:
Our entire organization also would like to thank the many fans who have visited Wrigley Field over the past week to leave chalk messages on our Budweiser Bleacher walls. We are humbled by the beautiful memorials you created as testimonials to your faith, perseverance and generational connection to our beloved ballpark and team. You have developed what we hope will become a Wrigley Field postseason tradition. We also want to thank everyone for participating in a safe and celebratory manner. Wrigley Field is our home and a place of historical significance we intend to preserve for our children and grandchildren. We appreciate your continued support in this effort and consideration in confining these messages to our outfield walls along Sheffield and Waveland avenues, and avoiding other areas of the ballpark.
We also are very appreciative of the use of chalk, which produces a creative and colorful display that does not damage our historic brick walls, which include bricks dating back to the 1920s.
Due to the start of offseason construction, we will need to fence in these beautiful postseason memorials and remove the artwork from all areas of the ballpark. While we hate to remove these cherished messages, chalk is a fleeting medium. To preserve these images, we will continue to photograph the outfield bleacher walls so we may share these postseason wall messages publicly in the future. We invite fans who have not yet left a postseason message to do so on the outfield bleacher walls by 5 p.m. CST [Tuesday], November 8, after which time we will take final images prior to the start of construction for the 2016-17 offseason.
The most interesting part of that message is the note that the team hopes this becomes a postseason tradition. Kudos to the Cubs for not only permitting this, but for helping everyone do it safely. All the championship celebrations seemed to happen in a way that reflected well on the team, every single fan, and the city of Chicago.