Las Vegas Sun

November 27, 2014

Currently: 63° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Chicago baseball fans get taste of home in Las Vegas

Cubs play White Sox in exhibition game at Cashman Field for annual Big League Weekend

Image

Justin M. Bowen

Cathy Stenberg of Las Vegas takes photos of the Chicago Cubs during batting practice Friday at Cashman Field before the Cubs and Chicago White Sox play the first of two exhibition games.

Cubs Fans at Cashman

Jason Reimer holds his 4-year-old son, Ethan, while Mike Fontenot of the Chicago Cubs signs his jersey Friday at Cashman Field before the Cubs and Chicago White Sox played their first of two exhibition games. Launch slideshow »

The Windy City has moved west — at least for a couple days.

Sitting 26 rows behind home plate at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Jerry Kern, who grew up in Chicago, enjoyed a glimpse of his childhood Saturday afternoon.

“It’s just like Wrigley Field today with this wind, but a little bit nicer out,” Kern said as he braved wicked desert winds gusting to more than 30 mph.

Kern was one of the many Chicago Cubs fans who made the trip to Las Vegas for 2010 Big League Weekend to watch his team sweep a two-game exhibition series from their crosstown rivals, the Chicago White Sox.

“It’s great here,” he said. “Baseball, gambling and the Cubs are ahead of the White Sox. What more is there?”

Since the 1980s, when Las Vegans started receiving WGN-TV’s broadcasts of the Cubs games, the team’s local fan base has flourished.

Local baseball legend Greg Maddux, now a member of the Cubs organization, said the fan base here flourished in the 1980s, after Las Vegas started receiving WGN-TV’s broadcasts of the Cubs games.

Maddux is back in town with the Cubs as an assistant to General Manager Jim Hendry and is working with pitchers during spring training.

“It’s cool,” he said about being back home. “I live here, and it’s nice coming back home to watch the boys play.”

Ray Mytych, a native Chicagoan, said regular trips to Cashman Field have become a tradition.

“You make new friends and you meet new friends,” said Mytych, who has lived in Las Vegas for 12 years. “You see a lot of Chicagoans, see the Cubs and most importantly, look forward to a new season.”

He said watching the Cubs on television makes him feel more at home.

“I watched WGN as a kid in black and white,” he said. “Watching it here makes me feel like I’m back home in Chicago.”

So, too, does it for Clyde DeWitt and Cherie Lee Williams, who made the move from Los Angeles to Las Vegas a few months ago.

“We love this and try to make it every year,” Williams said. “It’s wonderful to see your team play live.”

DeWitt, who prides himself on being “a one-man crew to get (former Cubs third baseman) Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame,” has attended more than 200 games at Wrigley Field but said watching baseball in Las Vegas never gets old.

“There’s just something about baseball,” he said. “There’s no other sport like it, nothing more relaxing than watching a baseball game.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.