Wrigley Field is a special place for Chicagoans far and wide.
But it's likely not as special to the common Cubs fan as it is to Chicago actor Jake Johnson, best known for his role as Nick Miller in "New Girl." He told a compelling story about spreading his father's ashes on the field --- per his father's request --- last summer when he threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field.
Here's the story that'll have you laughing at tearing up by the end of it. This is Johnson answering the question "What do you think happens when you die?"
"I had a thing with my dad, going back to end on this," Johnson said on Mythical Kitchen. "And we were having a talk about ghosts and all this. And he was like 'How the f--- should I know?' And then he goes 'Here's the thing, I'm probably gonna die before you so let's make a deal.' And I was like 'What's the deal?' And he goes --- and this is before I got on TV and had any kind of power --- and he said 'When I die, I want to be burned. Take my ashes, break into Wrigley Field, go on the right side of home base as if I was a righty, scatter my ashes there. And if there's any way, I will come [as a ghost] at that moment.'
"So, I always thought, what a clear, scientific way of doing it. I'll break into a stadium. I'll go to jail for this. Then I get on TV, things start happening. I got asked to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field last summer. We've been saving his ashes for it. We get to Wrigley, I'm sitting there. You know, you get a jersey when you do that and they put your last name on the back. I put his name 'Croco' and we used to all live and hang out at his house in Chicago at 425, that was his address. It was called the '425 Club,' we all loved it. So I put No. 425 on it [the jersey].
"I throw out the first pitch and then, you know, you go shake hands with the pitcher, mascot thing, or whatever. And so I walked over, and when I did it, I shook and then I really quickly had his ashes in my pocket, put them down on home plate, rubbed the ground, took a second and looked up. And I didn't feel anything. What that means? I don't know. But if there was gonna be something, I wanted that moment to feel like 'Oh!' And it was a beautiful moment. It was great. But I didn't have any answer. So what do I really feel happens when you die? I don't know yet."
What a wonderful story to ironically, and hilariously, conclude "I don't know" when asked what happens when you die. And, indeed, Johnson threw out the first pitch at Wrigley last July, scruffy beard long hair and all, with his dad's ashes tucked away in his pocket.
Jake Johnson throws out the first pitch at Wrigley! pic.twitter.com/wi98uoha5R
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) July 16, 2023
Johnson, 45, is a Chicago native, born and raised in Evanston. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka before going to college at the University of Iowa. He's widely known for his television role as Nick Miller in "New Girl."
He's a known Cubs and Chicago sports fan. Recently, he appeared as a guest on "The Pat McAfee Show" to talk about the Bears. Johnson claimed to be a big Justin Fields fan and suggested the Bears kick the tires on "Jimmy Harbaugh."
Hopefully, his father's ashes only bring good things to the Cubs in the future. Either way, this is a memorable story.