This Man Drove 650 Miles To Listen To Cubs Game At His Father’s Gravesite

news

Wayne Williams promised his father they would be together when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. He made good on the pact Wednesday, driving more than 650 miles to his father’s gravesite to listen to the game.


Williams, 68, a lifelong Cubs fan, grew up in the Chicago area but moved to Wake County about five years ago to be near his daughter.

He left early Wednesday to head to Greenwood, Ind., where his father, Wayne Williams Sr., is buried. Once he arrived at the cemetery’s open gates, Williams pulled up the game on his smartphone and sat in a chair next to his father’s grave.

“My dad and I had kind of made a pact that when — not if — the Cubs made the World Series, we would watch the games together,” Williams said.

When he arrived at the cemetery, Williams said, he was greeted by a news crew from WTHR, an NBC affiliate in Indianapolis. The crew had been tipped off by one of Williams’ relatives and sat with him in the dark cemetery listening to the game, which stretched into 10 innings and had a short rain delay.

The Cubs won an 8-7 thriller, breaking a 108-year streak without a World Series championship.

Williams said his father, who died of cancer in 1980 at age 53, would have been overjoyed but not surprised at the victory.

“He would have said, ‘I told ya, I told you they woulda won,’ ” he said.

The elder Williams was always confident his team would someday be world champions. Even when the Cubs were terrible, he always looked on the bright side.

He was known to say, “This is going to be our year; we’re going to be .500,” Williams said of his father’s predictions of a break-even season. “Just being .500 was something for him.”

The family patriarch was a World War II U.S. Navy veteran, who believed there was nothing he couldn’t do.

Williams said his father used to say that he chose the Navy over the Army, because he believed that if his boat sank, he could just swim to shore — even if he was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

“He was always unrealistic in some of his thinking. Hence a Cub fan,” Williams said.

Williams Sr. wasn’t good at taking care of himself, his son said, and would always fight through illness if he got sick.

Once on a visit to his home, Williams noticed that his dad had lost weight and recommended he go to a doctor, who discovered advanced cancer in his kidneys.

“They gave him three months,” Williams said. “He got six, but he spent the last month in a hospital bed.”

The elder Williams was buried in Greenwood alongside many of his family members, Williams said.

The younger Williams’ mother, now 91, lives with one of Williams’ brothers in northern Minnesota.

Williams said he planned to call her Thursday evening to tell her about his adventure, but expects her to be a bit underwhelmed by his crazy love of the Cubs.

“She’s very unsentimental, and she’ll say something like, ‘You’re an idiot,’ ” he said.

The family’s love for baseball stretches back to Williams’ grandfather, who was a huge fan of the Giants baseball team when it played in New York, he said.

Both he and his father share the middle name ‘Christie,’ an homage to Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson.

“It was supposed to be ‘-ty,’ but at the hospital they messed it up,” Williams said.

When Williams was young, he attended many Cubs games, recording box scores and paying close attention to each play, he said.

In his youth, the team struggled to win games and tickets were easy to come by. Visitors could simply walk up to the box office at Wrigley Field on game day and buy a seat anywhere in the stadium.

“They would say, ‘Pick any seat you want, they’re all open,’ ” Williams said.

The team has performed better in recent years and Williams said he’s been to fewer games, because he lives far away and tickets are harder to come by.

Williams said he believes this year’s crown will be the first of many World Series wins for the club, which is stacked with young talent.

“I really believe — of course now I’m channeling my dad — I think it’s going to be a dynasty,” he said.

———

©2016 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The payslip belonging to Gaius Messius, a Roman auxiliary soldier who likely served in Masada, Israel between 72 and 75 CE. (Twitter/@DrJEBall)

A 1,900-year-old scrap of papyrus proves that while warfare may change, the bureaucratic bullshit that comes with military life does not.

Read More Show Less
A screenshot of Del Hall's two-week recap YouTube video.

If you run across Army veteran Del Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, over the next couple of weeks, offer to buy him a beer.

No, seriously — it's all he's can have until mid-April.

Read More Show Less
An airplane with the Russian flag is seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela March 24, 2019. (Reuters/Carlos Jasso)

WASHINGTON/CARACAS (Reuters) - The United States on Monday accused Russia of "reckless escalation" of the situation in Venezuela by deploying military planes and personnel to the crisis-stricken South American nation that Washington has hit with crippling sanctions.

Read More Show Less

Victory over ISIS has come at a tremendous cost for America's Kurdish and Arab allies in Syria.

More than 11,000 Syrian Democratic Forces fighters were killed and 21,000 others wounded fighting ISIS, the group announced on Saturday following the group's formal liberation of ISIS' last enclave in Syria.

Read More Show Less
Sailors from Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), currently assigned to USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) works on a mock patient during a mass casualty drill for Mercy Exercise (MERCEX) in December 2018. (U.S. Navy/Cameron Pinske)

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

In March 2014, at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, Navy Lt. Rebekah "Moani" Daniel was admitted to have her first child. A labor and delivery nurse who worked at the facility, she was surrounded by friends and co-workers when daughter Victoria entered the world.

But four hours later, the 33-year-old was dead, having lost more than a third of her body's volume of blood to post-partum hemorrhaging. Her husband's attorney argues that the doctors failed to deploy treatments in time to halt the bleeding, leading to her death.

Her baby, now 5, never felt her mom's embrace.

This Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a petition from Moani Daniel's husband, Walter Daniel, in his case against the Navy hospital where his wife died. Like every other service member, Daniel was required to get medical care from the U.S. military, but her family is prohibited from suing for medical malpractice, barred by a 69-year-old legal ruling known as Feres that precludes troops from suing the federal government for injuries deemed incidental to military service.

"Suppose you had two sisters. One was on active duty and the other was a military dependent. Both of them give birth in adjoining rooms at the same military hospital [by the same doctor]. Both are victims of malpractice. One can sue and the other one can't. How can that make sense?" asked attorney Eugene Fidell, a former Coast Guard judge advocate general and military law expert who lectures at Yale Law School.

Read More Show Less