WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – It’s no secret that the Chicago Cubs are close to ending a major championship drought, but they were only a few games away in 1945 and that didn’t turn out so well.
Herbert Huette is full of stories. The 88-year-old Cubs fan lives at the Indiana Veterans’ Home in West Lafayette. He can even tell you the starting lineup for the 1945 World Series team.
“There was Stan Hack playing third, [Lennie] Merullo played shortstop, [Andy] Pafko played the outfield along Bill Nicholson,” he said.
Herbert grew up in Chicago and remembers listening to the 1945 World Series on the radio. But his favorite memories come from inside the friendly confines.
“We decided every once in a while on an afternoon we weren’t doing anything to take off an go up there,” explained Huette. “You could get box seats anytime for not very much.”
He’s seen it all, from Steve Bartman to the curse of the Billy Goat. But he doesn’t put the blame on the curse, more on the management.
“They traded away all their good players,” said Huette. “I’m still mad at them for trading Lou Brock.”
With World War II ending in 1945, it’s no surprise that Huette and his fellow war veteran Robert Wolfe supported both the red white and blue on our flag and the field.
“I was a Cubs fan when I was 5 years old,” said Wolfe. “My step dad took me to my first Cubs game and my dad said, ‘They lost.’ I said, ‘We will get them next time.'”
Wolfe is now 94 years old and after years of disappointment, he’s hoping to finally see his Cubs do it.
“I’ll be so happy … my heart,” said Wolfe.
When asked what Huette would do if the Cubs won the World Series, he simply yelled, “Yippee!”