Remembering the greatest Cubs fan after the Cubs’ greatest victory

November brings with it cooler weather, leaves of gold and the feeling of thanks in the air. It’s the perfect time to begin a practice of gratitude. You Know Neen is hosting the 2nd Annual 30 Days of Gratitude blog series, a place where the experience of gratitude will be explored and shared. I, along with several other contributors will be sharing our thoughts on all things gratitude. 

By Jimmy Greenfield

There are too many Cubs fans in my life to mention but I’m going to single out one who’s not with us anymore.

Gus Kapellas
Gus Kapellas

When I got married and was welcomed into my wife’s family it required the approval of Gus Kapellas, who was more than just a family friend and more than just a Cubs fan. He was the biggest Cubs fan and a great man.

Gus grew up listening to the Cubs in the 1920s, he’d work the family farm and then get scores from his sister who was listening on their transistor radio.

When Gus was stationed overseas during World War II he and his buddies found a way to reconfigure an antennae in order to listen to Game 7 of the 1945 World Series.

Jill Greenfield, Gus Kapellas and Jimmy Greenfield, March 2011 in Scottsdale, AZ.
Jill Greenfield, Gus Kapellas and Jimmy Greenfield, March 2011 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Gus and I bonded over the Cubs, we talked about them every chance we got. When I started writing my book I knew one of the chapters would be centered around Gus. Jill and I met with him in Scottsdale, Arizona in March, 2011 and got him to tell us about his life as a Cubs fan.

We knew Gus had dementia and after that visit we would hear that it was worsening. We went to visit him a year later, shortly after the book was released, and I was able to personally hand him a copy and see how much he appreciated it. It was a great moment in my life.

Gus passed away on July 9, 2015. He’s never far from my mind when the Cubs are on, and I’ve been thinking about him all day today.

Please watch this video about Gus and his legacy, and as I wrote in my book a few years ago, if you have a Gus in your life sit them down and get their stories now.

Because people don’t live forever, but their stories can.

Jimmy Greenfield is the Community Manager of ChicagoNow and is the author of 100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Follow Jimmy on Twitter via @jcgreenx and @CubsNoHitStreak.

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