CHICAGO — They passed the chalk from person to person, a shared bit of hope between folks melded together by an allegiance to this baseball team.
Just so happens this baseball team is history’s most hopeless baseball team and it now finds itself in an almost hopeless situation — down 3-1 in its first World Series in 71 years, trying to prevent their famous 108-year championship drought from reaching 109.
So they turned to chalk and to the brick walls of Wrigley Field, right there along Sheffield Avenue, where fans line up to get into the bleachers. They wrote things, thousands of them.
“Cubs We Love You”
“We Never Give Up”
“This is the Year”
“Baez is Bae”
How did this start? Nobody was really sure. But it stretched the length of right field. The messages started around 2 p.m. local time, five hours before first pitch. Sanctioned graffiti, a police officer overlooking the scene called it.
Dan Vanderwall picked a spot and drew a W flag with his family’s last name underneath. His brother Mark stood behind him, nodded approvingly and took a picture.
“It’s pretty nice to see everybody come together,” said Mark, who came from New Jersey, without a ticket just to watch the game from Wrigleyville bars.
“Our family is giant Cubs fans,” said Dan, from Indianapolis, also without a ticket. “We’ll send them this and let them know they’re also a part of it.”
Just then, a woman come up behind Dan.
“Can we borrow your chalk?” she said.
“You can have my chalk,” he said.
A ways down the wall, James Duvcevksi seized the opportunity to leave his mark. He had flown to Chicago from Melbourne, Australia on Saturday. That’s a 28-hour trip. He wrote small on a brick: “From Australia, Go Cubbies.”
“I just wanted to absorb all the atmosphere,” he said. “I saw this wall and I thought I definitely have to put something about Australia on there.
Other people put their kids on their shoulders to write a message. Or wrote remembrances for their loved ones who never saw the Cubs make it to the World Series. Or just wrote where they were from. They believed, though, and they shared their hope.
This lasted about nearly two hours, until stadium staff cleared the sidewalk of people. Fans needed to start lining up to get inside the stadium.
“No more writing on the wall,” one Wrigley employee yelled.
And so it ended. But not before a two-hour window of hope before the most crucial game of the year at Wrigley Field.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: