INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – You can’t blame Chicago Cubs fans for feeling a little skeptical. After all, the team has endured heartbreak for more than 100 years!
This week’s World Series championship has been cathartic for those who’ve endured years of losing—especially for fans like Erwin “Erv” Schreiber.
The 86-year-old grew up in Chicago and now lives in Indianapolis. And when the Cubs got the final out this week to shatter the “lovable losers” label, the lifelong Cubs fan couldn’t contain his emotions.
“I got to see ‘em win it!” Schreiber said in disbelief while surrounded by his family. “I got to see ‘em win it! Oh man! I got to see them win it! Oh man! Oh yes! Oh man! Oh, yes, yes!”
Molly Kruger, the girlfriend of Schreiber’s grandson, captured the sweet moment on video.
According to Kruger, “Grandpa Erv” is a lifelong Cubs fan whose upstairs main room is filled with Cubs mementos, including pictures of past teams, newspaper articles, framed posters and more.
He’s old enough to remember when the Cubs last won the pennant in 1945, Kruger said. He’s also kept a bottle of 1984 Cubs champagne handy just in case the team ever won the World Series.
It was finally time to open it–although that proved more difficult than expected. Schreiber said the bottle was so old that they had to use pliers to open it!
“That moment is something I’ve seen him wishing for my whole life,” Schreiber’s grandson, Paul Schreiber, told CBS4. “Trips to Wrigley and games on TV have brought us together so many times over the years. We’ve seen plenty of the Cubs being the Cubs, so the World Series was always kind of a ‘someday’ thing. To finally see it happen with him was special. It was a culmination of all the years of shared memories and time spent together.”
Schreiber himself echoed those sentiments.
“To be together with family and hearing my stories all along with the Cubs means so much,” he said. “I just cheered for the good times and the bad times.”
Schreiber said he grew up listening to Cubs games on the radio as a kid in Chicago. He made scorecards and kept score as he followed players like Stan Hack and Phil Cavarretta. He lived on the south side and his brother was White Sox fans. The Sox, of course, won the World Series in 2005.
In August, Schreiber saw a game at Wrigley Field and got to be on the field. He said it was the dream of a lifetime.
As for the World Series, Schreiber never lost faith. Not after the 3-1 series deficit. Not after the blown 6-3 lead in Game 7. Not after the rain delay.
“I still had hope. I always said to my friends, if you want to see what faith and hope looks like, here I am. I’m a Cubs fan. I didn’t give up,” he said.
He loves the young Cubs team and hopes to see another championship or two in the future. He knows he just witnessed baseball history and an instant World Series classic.
“I think that was the best World Series that I ever witnessed. Both teams played their hearts out. There was drama every minute,” he said.
“As a family, and as Cubs fans, we knew it was going to happen. And it did. And I can’t be more joyous. It’s been incredible.”