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How did you become a Cubs fan?

Did you go to Wrigley with a parent or older relative? Did you first find the Cubs on WGN-TV? Share your story.

Photo by @WillByington / www.willbyington.com

While we wait for MLB’s seemingly interminable lockout to end, I thought this might be a good time to share our Cubs fan origin stories. How did you first get exposed to the Chicago Cubs and become a fan, and when?

Here’s mine.

Like many kids of my generation, I was taken to Wrigley Field by my dad. This is the game — Saturday, July 6, 1963. The Cubs lost 6-0 and were shut out on two hits by Phillies righthander Cal McLish, who, as was the case for many players in that era, had once been a Cub (1949, 1951), was given away for nothing and had success elsewhere.

That actually was an uncommon result for the Cubs in 1963. They had actually occupied first place, briefly, in June — the latest in the season they’d been in first place since 1945. Entering that July 6 game they were riding a five-game winning streak and were only three games out of first place. Even so, attendance at my first Cubs game was just 16,348, less than half capacity.

After that day, again like many kids in my generation — and maybe yours too — I discovered I could watch Cubs baseball on WGN-TV, most spring and summer afternoons. On school days you could generally catch the last couple of innings after school, on weekends and in the summer watch full games. I was hooked. It is not an exaggeration to say that WGN-TV’s coverage of all Cubs home games (and almost all games starting in 1968) created several generations of Cubs fans from 1948 through 1977 locally in Chicago and from 1978-98 with 140+ games a year on national cable TV doing the same nationwide. I know we have BCB readers who have never lived in Chicago, who became Cubs fans by watching them on WGN.

The point of this is not to lament WGN-TV’s disappearance from national cable TV. The TV landscape has changed and it became simply impossible for WGN to make any money showing Cubs games nationally. You can still watch Cubs games outside the team’s market territory if you pay for MLB.TV — and don’t get me started on blackouts.

Anyway, that’s my Cubs fan origin story. Share yours in the comments.

Poll

Where do you, the Cubs fan, live? Select the choice that most closely matches where you are.

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    City of Chicago, north side
    (38 votes)
  • 0%
    City of Chicago, south side
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Chicago suburbs, north Cook County
    (22 votes)
  • 2%
    Chicago suburbs, west Cook County
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Chicago suburbs, south Cook County
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    North Chicago metro area (Lake County, McHenry County)
    (15 votes)
  • 4%
    West Chicago metro area (DuPage County, Kane County)
    (23 votes)
  • 1%
    South Chicago metro area (Will County, Kendall County)
    (8 votes)
  • 8%
    Illinois (outside areas mentioned above)
    (44 votes)
  • 4%
    Wisconsin
    (21 votes)
  • 4%
    Iowa
    (23 votes)
  • 7%
    Indiana
    (35 votes)
  • 2%
    Michigan
    (10 votes)
  • 15%
    US Eastern time zone (except Michigan, Indiana)
    (76 votes)
  • 10%
    US Central time zone (except Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana)
    (54 votes)
  • 2%
    Arizona
    (14 votes)
  • 3%
    US Mountain time zone (except Arizona)
    (17 votes)
  • 4%
    California
    (24 votes)
  • 3%
    US Pacific time zone (except California)
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    Alaska
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Hawaii
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Canada
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Puerto Rico
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Caribbean islands (except Puerto Rico)
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Mexico
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Central America
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    South America
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    England/Scotland/Ireland/Northern Ireland
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Continental Europe
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Asia (except Middle East)
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Middle East
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Africa
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Australia/New Zealand
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    Somewhere else
    (6 votes)
493 votes total Vote Now