Chicago Cubs fans celebrate after team wins NL wild-card game 4-0

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Cubs beat the Pirates 4-0 in Pittsburgh to win the NL wild-card game and advance to the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

It's the team's first postseason win since 2003.

Wrigleyville was filled with screams and cheers as Cubs fans exploded with excitement throughout the game. Every home run. Every strikeout. Every hit.

"We haven't had anything to cheer for, except the Blackhawks, for such a long time," said lifelong Cubs fan Paola Villagomez, who was watching at the Cubby Bear. "This is amazing. We deserve to be happy. Chicago deserves to be happy."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel congratulated the team, saying, "Congratulations to Coach Joe Maddon and the Cubs who tonight had our City holding its collective breath until the final out. In less than 48 hours, they will carry Chicago's spirit and support with them to St. Louis as they continue what has been a magical season. Cubs' fans are patient -- there's no doubt about that -- but Friday can't come soon enough. Until then, #FlyTheW!"

In anticipation of the celebration, Chicago police met with the alderman's office and bar owners on Tuesday to make sure they're prepared. As on other big game days, bars are being asked to use plastic instead of glass and to ensure that no one walks out into the street with any open alcohol.

Clark Street was shut down to vehicle traffic around Wrigley Field to give revelers space to celebrate without blocking or endangering traffic. There is a smaller police showing Wednesday night than when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.

It wasn't much different from a regular Saturday night bar crowd on Clark Street until shortly after the game when people watching elsewhere came to join the party and the bars cleared out into the street to celebrate.

One man was arrested for disorderly conduct. Police say he tried to hit an officer as they detained him and they expect to charge him additionally with resisting arrest and possibly assaulting a police officer. He was taken into custody by several Chicago police officers.

Officials say they will allow the celebration to continue as long as it remains peaceful.


Margaret and Martin Homa literally traveled across the country to get to the game, sleeping at O'Hare before connecting to Pittsburgh. The trip was a surprise for Martin, who thought they were going to Costco on Tuesday.

"I do have the greatest wife," Martin said. "I always say she's my best friend, opposite body parts."

WATCH: U of I student who rescheduled midterm arrives at Cubs game

Ben Larson is also thrilled to be in Pittsburgh. Larson is the University of Illinois student who asked his professor to reschedule his midterm so he could attend the wild-card game, and his professor agreed, telling him to savor the moment.

"He thought everything was pretty cool, wanted to remain anonymous so I can't give his name out or the class or anything, but he said to have fun, focus on the Cubbies and then ace the midterm," Larson says.

The 21-year-old just finished a road trip from the university to attend the game with his father, who says Cubs love is all they know.

"We have a lot of Cubbie blue bleeding in the house, and we have a dog named Cubbie too," David Larson, Ben's father, says.

Near PNC Park, a jumble prank by a Cubs fan. Chicago Sun-Times reporter Rummana Hussain tweeted a picture of a sign changed by a Cubs fan who snuck into the office and rearranged the letters to spell "Let's Go Cubs" instead of Let's Go Bucs."

The sign has since been changed back.


The roster is filled with names you never heard of: Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber, Russell, Arrieta, and despite some relatively recent playoff appearances in 2008, 2007 and 2003, the buzz is different this year.

"I think in '08, '03, we were lucky to be there," says Shelley Gilbert, a Cubs fan. "This year we deserve it, especially the back half play."

There seems to be some alchemy going on: the unexpected talent of pitching ace Jake Arrieta and the unexpected combination of young players having a great time resulting in the unexpected record of winning 97 games.

"It's not a science, it's an art and this comes out as a masterpiece," says ESPN Senior Writer Lester Munson.

Munson says the final stroke on the masterpiece is manager Joe Maddon, a leader who understands the technology of the game will still bringing a level of fun and eccentricity.

"He brought animals, a zoo to the ball park," Munson says. "He had ball players wear pajamas on an overnight flight, he brought a magician, then they won nine games in a row."

This is a team fans believe can make this city move beyond the goat.

"It's just a magical season," Gilbert says.
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