(Photo: Jacob Franklin/WCSN)
Tonight’s starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, Corey Kluber, presents a line of tension between hometown ties and family sports allegiance for the Pickrell household. They must decide this evening when the Chicago Cubs host the Cleveland Indians in game four of the World Series.
Growing up nearly 1,000 miles from Wrigley Field, two girls from Texas round out the bottom of the list of likely Chicago Cubs fans. However, Arizona State volleyball players Cassidy and Kylie Pickrell have been singing ‘Go Cubs Go’ since they were born.
It has never been about where they are from, but about the way they were raised. Their mother, Erin Pickrell was born and raised on the west side of Chicago where being a Cubs fan is a lifestyle.
When she graduated from college, she moved to downtown Chicago. A few of her friends lived in a brownstone across the street from Wrigley Field, and the group would go to rooftop parties and watch the Cubs play ball.
Erin moved to Texas is 1993 with her husband to start her family. When her daughters were born, Erin raised them to support everything Chicago.
Both Cassidy and Kylie emphasized the unique experience of supporting a team with such a dedicated fan base.
“[The Fan Base] is something my mom always talked about,” Kylie said. “They are always there and always supporting. I think that’s why my sister and I really drew to it. It’s a really cool environment to be a part of.”
Before the girls neared high school, the Pickrell’s took a trip to the Second City, which included a visit to Wrigley Field.
Erin was thrilled to finally share an important part of her life with her daughters. She had a lot of fun going down to the city and sharing stories about the Cubs with them.
At the same time, she was afraid the girls would be too young to remember the trip. So, she snapped a photo of Cassidy and Kylie in front of the classic Wrigley Field sign. The picture now hangs in her all her relatives’ houses.
But Kylie, who was only nine, remembers the trip vividly. She remembers all of her family members sharing their stories about the Cubs, Wrigley, and the hours of celebration outside the stadium after the game.
Knowing that it was their first time at the ballpark was a special experience that made the sisters truly feel a part of their family.
“It’s cool for me to see that picture now that I’m older,” Cassidy added. “I can respect it more and see how much it means to my mom and our family.”
Both girls tirelessly pursued their athletic careers that eventually landed them each a spot on the ASU volleyball roster.
This presented the opportunity to watch the Cubs live for the first time since their trip to Wrigley. On April 10th, both watched their favorite player, Jake Arrieta, pitch a 7-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
When the Cubs defeated the Dodgers in game six of the NLCS, Erin continued to update her busy daughters, who were studying, through a group chat. They celebrated over text when the Cubs stamped their ticket to their first World Series in 71 years.
Tonight, as they did in game one – in rooting for the Cubs, the Pickrell’s must carefully cheer for someone they otherwise wouldn’t have – a hometown hero.
Kluber and the Pickrell sisters both hail from the small town of Coppell, Texas. Although they have never met him, his lasting athletic legacy inspired both girls to pursue their collegiate athletic careers.
@CKluber might be from coppell but still go cubbies🐻💙
— Kylie Pickrell (@KyliePickrell) October 25, 2016
“You want people you know of to succeed,” Erin said. “We want him to have a good night.”
With the Indians leading the series 2-1, it’s tougher to cheer for both Kluber and the Cubs. Their conclusion is as follows: once Kluber does well and leaves the game – pounce on relief pitcher Andrew Miller.
The Pickrell’s will be clinging to their Wrigley roots this evening. Kylie said it best saying, “Fly the W.”
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Delilah Cassidy via Twitter @delilah_cassidy or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.