- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2016

A North Carolina man drove hundreds of miles Wednesday to honor a pact he made with his Chicago Cubs-loving father.

Wayne Williams drove from the Tar Heel State to the military section of a graveyard in Greenwood, Indiana, to listen to his father’s favorite team shed the “Curse of the Billy Goat.” He listened to the Cubs win Game 7 of the World Series while sitting alone in the dark next to his father’s gravestone.

“I talked it out with my boys forever,” Mr. Williams told a local NBC affiliate Thursday. “I let them know that I told my dad — we had a pact. When the Cubs — not if, when — the Cubs got into the World Series, we would make sure we listen to the games together

Mr. Williams’ father, also named Wayne, was a Navy World War II veteran who saw action in one of history’s most pivotal battles.

“He was a signalman,” Mr. Williams said of his father. “He was at Normandy, D-Day +8. He had not turned 18 yet.”

His time in the Navy was likely the start of his love affair with the Cubs — as well as a lifetime of heartbreak as a fan of the seemingly snakebitten franchise, his son said.

“I think it was because when he was at boot camp at Great Lakes,” Mr. Williams said of his father’s Cubs affinity. “He probably went to some games, because Wrigley’s brought the guys out there for these things and it was the closest thing to big-time baseball he’d ever seen.”

The veteran died in 1980, but his son said that the Cubs’ infamous postseason collapse in 1984 may have “done it for him” had he lived that long.

The Cubs’ 10-inning, 8-7 win over the Cleveland Indians, which stretched into early Thursday morning, capped a spectacular comeback after being down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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