It’s hard to go anywhere in the Chicagoland area these days without coming across droves of Cubs fans excited about the team’s historic playoff. Triton College is certainly no exception. The excitement hit fever pitch on campus after the Cubs clinched their first World Series championship in 108 years with a win over the Cleveland Indians in a breathtaking game seven.
Students, staff and faculty members, several already decked out in Cubs championship gear, celebrated the historical accomplishment Thursday morning by raising a ‘W’ flag outside of the campus’ Learning Resource Center.
“We raise the flag for our Chicago Cubs and for all of Chicago and of course the Triton College community,” Triton President Moore declared as she hoisted the flag, as the group broke out into a spontaneous rendition of Go Cubs Go.
The occasion was particularly special for members of Triton’s baseball program who joined in on the celebration.
Head Baseball Coach Harry Torgerson comes from a family of Cubs fans. His late father’s ashes are scattered on Wrigley Field, and two of his daughters have Cubs inspired names. Grace, named for former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace, and Addison, named for the street on which Wrigley Field resides.
Coach Torgerson said watching the Cubs throughout the playoffs was a bonding experience for his team.
“The guys will be texting one another talking about the game, talking about different situations, what people do right – what people do wrong, so it’s a good education about how to play the game,” Torgerson said.
Trojans sophomore pitcher Jack Hayes and sophomore catcher Anthony Tejeda also witnessed the W flag go up. Hayes, a Riverside-Brookfield High School graduate, also comes from a family of Cubs fans.
“I watched game seven with my family,” Hayes said. “My grandpa, who passed away was a big Cubs fan. We left a seat open for him with a picture on it.”
The Cubs championship was even more special for Hayes because they clinched the title on his 20th birthday.
“I called it from the start that this series was going seven games,” he said.
Before the Cubs provided this jolt of excitement on campus, Triton had already been steeped in proud baseball tradition.
MLB Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett and former All-Star Lance Johnson are among the most well-known Triton baseball players. The program has produced a steady stream of major leaguers including Jeff Reboulet, Lou Collier and former Cubs pitchers Tom Gorzelanny and Justin Berg.
The Trojans have appeared in the NJCAA World Series 11 times, finishing as national runners-up in 1993 and 1994.
This spring, the team played its first season on a brand new field in Triton’s newly renovated East Campus Athletic Complex. The Trojans compiled an impressive 38-19 record en route to North Central Community College Conference (N4C) and Region IV Division I championships. Coach Torgerson was named both Region IV Division I and N4C Conference Coach of the Year.
(Left) Triton College President Mary-Rita Moore addresses onlookers before raising the W flag to celebrate the Cubs’ World Series Championship
(Right) (L-R) Triton sophomore catcher Anthony Tejeda, Head baseball coach Harry Torgerson and sophomore pitcher Jack Hayes.