Elderly Chicago Cubs Fans Savor Long-Awaited Victory: 'What a Relief!' Says 105-Year-Old Devotee
The oldest Chicago Cubs fans around weren't sure they'd ever get to see their beloved team play in the World Series - let alone win!
Ray Styrlund is pretty darn happy right now.
One of the oldest Chicago Cubs fans around, Styrlund, 105, predicted last year that he would live long enough to see the Cubs win the World Series – and he sure is glad it’s finally happened.
“What a relief!” Styrlund, of East Moline, Illinois, tells PEOPLE. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long, long time.”
Styrlund set up a lounge chair and watched Wednesday’s Game 7 in his pajamas from his Park Vista Retirement Living apartment. Although he tried with all of his might to stay awake, he fell asleep when Cleveland Indians outfielder Rajai Davis hit a two-run homer off closer Aroldis Chapman to tie the game 6-6. That was around 11:20 p.m.
“When they tied it up, I thought here we go again, another 100 years!” says Styrlund. “I still don’t know what to think.”
Ray found out about the miraculous game outcome on Thursday morning (the team’s first World Series win in 108 years), but says he “still can’t quite believe it.”
“It just doesn’t seem real!” he says. “It hasn’t hit me yet, after all these years of waiting it finally happened.”
Styrlund, who says that rooting for the Cubs has been the key to his longevity, moved to Chicago with his wife in 1936 and has been following the Cubs ever since. He’s attended dozens of games over the years, even when the stadium didn’t have lights.
“I worked at night, and so I would go to the daytime games,” he says. “And then after I would go to work.”
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And although Styrlund was ecstatic with the win, he thinks his Cubs can bring it again next year.
“I won’t give up now!” he says. “I know they’ll make it back again for me. I don’t plan on waiting another 100 years.”
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Styrlund isn’t alone in savoring the long-awaited victory — many folks around his age had been waiting decades for this moment.
Like the 86-year-old man who sold soda and snacks at Wrigley Field during the 1945 World Series (the last time the Cubs placed in the Series).
And Bob Newhart, who was just “too old for this.”
This 94-year-old grandfather who gave two-thumbs up for the Cubs.
And, the amazing 100-year-old Grandpa Frank who said, “I will not die until the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.”
After decades of frustration, his prediction has joyfully come true.