When McCormick sophomore Stephanie Schwartz walked into Wrigley Field on Tuesday evening for NU Day at Wrigley, she was visiting one of baseball’s most legendary stadiums for the first time.
“I had never been to a Cubs game, so this was a convenient opportunity,” Schwartz said. “Not to mention, Wrigley Field is a classic baseball stadium.”
Schwartz and six of her friends joined about hundreds of other Northwestern students wearing NU purple to watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Pittsburgh Pirates for NU Day at Wrigley. Organized by the Northwestern Class Alliance as part of programming meant to bring students together, NU Day is in its third or fourth year, said NCA member Nate West, a Weinberg sophomore.
“The purpose of this day is to provide a sense of campus pride and unity amongst Northwestern students,” West said.
The $15 tickets went on sale April 23 and 1,400 were sold out within three days, West said. Some students had to scramble for tickets at the last minute.
“I had to walk up to a girl I had never even spoken to before just to get a ticket for a friend,” said Communication freshman Lauren Troy.
Sporting the official purple event T-shirt, Weinberg freshman Elizabeth Green said she also enjoyed the opportunity to have a good time with her friends while watching a baseball game.
“This is a really exciting tradition,” Green said. “Wrigley is always a great time. I plan on getting an NU Day t-shirt for every year I’m at Northwestern.”
Even non-NU fans like Nick Brownell, a student at the University of Pennsylvania, said he could feel the sense of community among the students at the game.
“I wish UPenn would have done something like this,” Brownell said. “You can feel the energy and being surrounded by students makes the game a little more fun.”
This energy began before the event when NCA hosted the First Pitch Bar Night on Monday, April 30 at Prairie Moon in Evanston. Eight contestants spanning all four years competed for the chance to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the game. The contest was run in three rounds, featuring talent, trivia and a final question, which allowed students to show their support for the competitors. After answering why they would best represent NU, McCormick senior Alec Davis was named the winner.
Pre-game ceremonies were highlighted by Davis throwing out one of three first pitches and NU a cappella group Freshman Fifteen singing the National Anthem to a packed Wrigley Field. Although several sections were peppered by students wearing NU purple, McCormick freshman Claire Boland said she was surprised by how simple it was to find seats with her friends.
“I had chem lab until six, so a few friends had to save me seats, but it ended up not being a problem,” Boland said.
The game itself featured seven Cubs pitching changes and no home runs from either team. The Pirates beat the Cubs 4-3 after 15 innings, something even non-Cubs fans could appreciate.
“I’m not even a Cubs fan, but I really enjoy free baseball,” said David Weintraub, a Weinberg freshman. “It’s a good time.”