CHICAGO – For the first time in more than 60 years, one of the Cubs’ most famous fans did not watch Opening Day from the bleachers.
Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers will be cheering for the Cubs in front of his TV, instead of in the ballpark for the home opener.
Over the years, Wickers would pop up anywhere. From live TV reports, to the World Series celebration, to Rod Blagojevich’s homecoming, and even a documentary about his life.
But one place you were always sure to see him was was Wrigley Field on Opening Day.
“I’ve been to every Cubs home opener since 1959, and it’s the medicine I look forward to,” he said.
The 79-year-old says it’s a lesson from baseball he’s now apply to his life.
“One thing about baseball, everybody always try to come home, and when you come home, you want to be safe,” Wickers.
The signature cheer is hoarse, but he’s healthy. He says the return of baseball, along with the vaccine, have kept him positive through the pandemic.
“Enjoy your time, because baseball – it’s a medicine. It’s a medicine everyone wants a part of. No matter what you’re going through in life, you can always enjoy baseball,” Wickers said.
He was born and raised in Chicago. Wickers worked as a janitor at Northwestern University, but lives for Cubs baseball.
“It’s not about how much money you make. What you have, what you don’t have. It don’t cost nothing to be nice,” he said.
He has become a fixture at Wrigley Field through his repeated cheer, over and over.
“I was in school and the teacher said ‘make all the noise you want,’ and I just said ‘woo woo’ It’s something that just came to me,” he said.
He dressed in his full uniform this forming and went to see the marquee before crowds arrive. He said later in the season, maybe once more people are vaccinated, he hopes to join the fans in the stands.
Wickers will turn 80 on Halloween and he hopes to be celebrating Cubs baseball then.