Fans anticipate Cubs, Mets match-up in NLCS Game 1

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Cubs headed to New York City to face the Mets in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

Many longtime Cubs fans are even more excited to be playing the Mets in the NLCS, given the history between the two teams.



The great Cubs collapse of 1969 is often linked to superstition and the black cat that walked in front of the Cubs dugout at New York's Shea Stadium during a game.

This time around, the Cubs will be looking across the field at a hometown Chicago hero. Curtis Granderson - who plays right field for the Mets - grew up in Lynwood and attended UIC, where he maintains strong connections.

"He comes here in the off season. He spends a lot of time working with the University of Illinois Chicago, his alma mater. He built the stadium there and he spends a lot of time doing workouts there for the university teams, and he does camps for Little League teams," said Mary Granderson, his mother.

Granderson donated $5 million to help build the stadium on campus that bears his name. His parents are in New York for this weekend's games and plan to be at Wrigley next week. They are Mets fans now, of course, but most of all, they are Curtis Granderson fans.

"We never set out to try and raise a baseball player. We just wanted to raise a good person. Fortunately, we were blessed to get both," Mary Granderson said.

Cubs fever stretches all the way to suburban Spring Grove, where a farmer has plowed the message "Go Cubs Go" into his field.

"After they won on Sunday, I said, 'I'm putting it out there.' The kids said, 'Dad, you gotta do this,'" said Jack Schmitt.

The 82-year-old lifelong Cubs fan created the design before the Cubs won the division series. Apparently, it's working.

CUBS FAN GETS FACE-VALUE TICKETS IN LOTTERY

Even as she looks at her tickets, Therese Talarico still can hardly believe it. Of the more than 1 million people who entered the Cubs ticket lottery, she is one of the fortunate few whose name was pulled. She got the tickets!

"I just couldn't believe it. I was running around the office telling everybody and no one else could believe it as well," Talarico said.

Cubs fever has taken over Wrigleyville and demand for tickets is through the roof.

Talarico got four tickets at face value - about $100 each. She says she found other tickets in the same section going for about $1,000 apiece on StubHub - a little out of her budget.

"You could get 'em, but they're really, really expensive. That the Cubs offered this to a lot of fans, I think, is fantastic on their part," said Talarico.

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CUBS DEPART FOR NEW YORK

The teams will face-off at Citi Field for NLCS Games 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday. The Cubs departed from Wrigley Field around 9:30 a.m. Friday.

"It's kind of surreal right now because it's been so long. They don't think anything can stop them," said Tony Hammond, a Cubs fan.

Closer Hector Rondon looked comfortable and relaxed, giving a thumbs up as he arrived at Wrigley Field. With a backpack and coffee in hand, outfielder Kyle Schwarber strolled in with shades.

Although fans had a lot to say about seeing their team off - an assistant coach with the team said he can't believe where they are right now.

"It's a position we always expected for the past four years. We're ready for this," said Franklin Font, Chicago Cubs assistant coach. "The secret was the coaches, the head coach, Joe, the players believed what they tried to do. I think it's unbelievable," Font said.

PHOTOS: Chicago Cubs head to NYC for NLCS


They will return to Wrigley for Game 3 on Tuesday. Ticket prices for Game 3 are already skyrocketing.

NLCS Game 3 tickets on StubHub range from $450 to $10,000. Ticket sellers on the secondhand market are asking for, on average, roughly $1,300 a pop. Those are some of the highest playoff ticket prices in history.

First pitch for Game 1 will be at 7:07 p.m. Saturday.

CUBS NLCS SCHEDULE:

NLCS Game 1 - Saturday, Oct. 17 @ 7:07 p.m. CT
Cubs @ Mets

NLCS Game 2 - Sunday, Oct. 18 @ 7:07 p.m. CT
Cubs @ Mets

NLCS Game 3 - Tuesday, Oct. 20 @ 7:07 p.m. CT
Mets @ Cubs

NLCS Game 4 - Wednesday, Oct. 21 @ 7:07 p.m. CT
Mets @ Cubs

NLCS Game 5* - Thursday, Oct. 22 @ 7:07 p.m. CT
Mets @ Cubs

NLCS Game 6* - Saturday, Oct. 24
Cubs @ Mets

NLCS Game 7* - Sunday, Oct. 25
Cubs @ Mets

*if necessary
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