Faithful gather in South Haven to cheer for Cubs

Chicago Cubs, World Series, Game 7, Black River Tavern,
Chicago Cubs fan Lisa Stegall at the Black River Tavern in South Haven during Game 7 of the World Series. (Nov. 2, 2016)

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — This World Series had fans from all over putting on their Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians gear — especially in Michigan, where many fans hail from Illinois or Ohio.

The Black River Tavern in South Haven was packed for the winner-take-all Game 7.

“I was born in Chicago. I lived there most of my life,” lifelong Cubs fan Lisa Stegall told 24 Hour News 8.

Wednesday was a night 108 years in the making for Cubs fans like Stegall.

“My grandfather was a big Cubs fan. He’s not with us anymore, so I’m hoping they win tonight for him,” she said before the game ended. “We used to watch the games with him after school.”

The Black River Tavern was the closest most of the fans gathered there got to experiencing a postseason game in person. But not Steve Ohnsman and Rich Chapman. They watched the Cubs clinch their World Series birth in Chicago and walked away with a foul ball.

“In the seventh inning of the game Kyle Hendricks was at bat,” explained Ohnsman, who also holds season ticket at Wrigley Field. “A foul ball was hit towards me and I made a miraculous catch reaching over the railing and caught this baseball.”

Though the Tavern is known as a Chicago sports bar, a couple of Indians fans made their way to watch Game 7.

“I’m willing to be a loner here and cheer for the Indians. It’s been a cool series and it’s great it’s been so exiting right down to the last game,” Cleveland native Judy Chapman told 24 Hour News 8.

But in the end, it was the Cubs’ night: they beat the Indians 8-7 in 10 innings for their first World Series title in 108 years.