Cubs Fan Receives Gift Of Front-Row World Series Tickets After 71 Years Of Waiting

The 97-year-old was at Wrigley the last time the Cubs were in the Series -- in 1945.

Chicago Cubs fans are a passionate and resilient bunch ― but most haven’t been dedicated for as long as Jim Schlegel.

Schlegel, a 97-year-old Pearl Harbor veteran and die-hard Cubs fan, attended games the last time the Cubs made it to the World Series ― in 1945. He even has his ticket stubs from Game 6 and Game 7.

But the Cubs lost that Series. And for 71 disappointing years since, Schlegel has been cheering his team, hoping for another shot at the championship.

Now, the Cubs are back.

Fans mill about the Wrigley Field Box Office during the World Series in October, 1945.
Fans mill about the Wrigley Field Box Office during the World Series in October, 1945.
Bettmann via Getty Images

After decades of what some might call a curse, the Cubs are headed for the World Series again. And, thanks to Schlegel’s thoughtful granddaughter, Helen, he’ll be in the stands cheering, “Go, Cubs, Go” with the best of them.

On Sunday, Helen Schlegel set up a GoFundMe called “Get my Grandpa to the World Series” with the goal of raising $10,000 ― enough to buy two tickets to a World Series game.

The campaign caught the eye of Marcus Lemonis, Host of CNBC’s “The Profit,” who just so happened to be looking for a Cubs fan worthy of free World Series tickets. Jim Schlegel was the perfect fit.

Lemonis donated two front-row Game 3 tickets to Schlegel, who said he’ll be taking his son to the game against the Cleveland Indians on Friday at Wrigley Field.

“My grandpa is beyond excited to go to the game,” Helen Schlegel told The Huffington Post. “It all just feels so unreal still.”

I appreciate your generosity, and hope we bring in a winner,” Schlegel told Lemonis in a video posted to Twitter by his granddaughter.

Even before he knew he would be attending the Series, Schlegel sounded confident in his beloved team: “The Cubs will win it in seven. Or earlier. Alright?” he said in an interview this week with FOX 32.

All of the money raised by the GoFundMe campaign ― more than $12,000 so far ― will be donated to the Purple Heart Foundation, which supports U.S. military veterans.

Enjoy the game of a lifetime, Mr. Schlegel.

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