|
Patrons at the Big Star Wrigleyville restaurant Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, are seated in a social distant manner on West Patterson Ave., across from Wrigley Field during a baseball game between the Cubs and St Louis Cardinals in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

As MLB sprints through two months, the businesses in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadiums that rely so heavily on thousands making their way through the turnstiles 81 times a year are struggling, their futures murky at best.

|
(WTTW News)

Amid uncertainty in Chicago and across the nation, a ray of hope: Chicago’s baseball teams are in first place, and the city’s beloved Bears pulled off a miracle comeback. Can professional sports actually be a tonic for tough times?

|
Chicago Cubs fans wait for a ball outside of Wrigley Field before the Opening Day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in Chicago, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

While Major League Baseball is beginning this season without fans in its stadiums, the famed ballhawks of Wrigley Field remain at their post amid the coronavirus pandemic.

|
Game day in Wrigleyville on Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Erica Gunderson / WTTW News)

In any other year, a parking spot near Wrigley Field on a game day would be a mirage or a miracle. But on the third day of the 2020 baseball season, parking spots were easy to find, and the cheek-to-jowl lines were nonexistent.

|
Wrigley Field is viewed from a nearby rooftop before an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in Chicago, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

Little about this pandemic-delayed season is routine — but for fans looking to see major league baseball live, there are few options besides the rooftops along Waveland and Sheffield avenues.

|
Sandra Bilger, left, and Dustin Moore take a photo in front of the marquee at Wrigley Field before an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in Chicago, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

The Cubs were about to open their season at long last against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, and it sure sounded like a packed house at Wrigley Field. Of course, no fans were allowed inside the famed ballpark. The noise was piped in.

|
(WTTW News)

The Chicago Cubs got the green light Thursday to play home games on weekend nights, the “extraordinary circumstances” imposed by the coronavirus pandemic breaking a decadeslong ban on games under lights on Fridays and Saturdays.

|
In this April 16, 2020 file photo, Wrigley Field’s marquee displays Lakeview Pantry volunteer information in Chicago. The Chicago Cubs are instituting pay cuts because of the coronavirus crisis, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)

The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are trimming payroll while they await word on the fate of the Major League Baseball season.

|

As Chicago baseball fans hunker down and hope for the return of their favorite summertime sport, a viewer wonders how Chicago sports soldiered through the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.

|
White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, left, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper preview the season on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

There is no joy in Mudville (or in Chicago for that matter) as the coronavirus pandemic has struck out Major League Baseball. Jason Benetti and Len Kasper talk about what might have been — and what may happen in the weeks to come.

|
Cubs fans outside Wrigley Field in Chicago. (WTTW News)

The days of watching the Cubs on TV for free are long gone. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker tells us about the Marquee Sports Network – and what it means for Cubs fans in Chicago.

|
White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, left, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper preview the season on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

With spring training right around the corner, we look to the coming season with White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper.

|
In this May 29, 2019, file photo, Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell throws to first during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astro in Houston. (AP Photo / David J. Phillip, File)

The Chicago Cubs did not offer a 2020 contract to shortstop Addison Russell on Monday, making the 2016 All-Star a free agent one year after he was suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

|
In this Oct. 14, 2016, file photo, Chicago Cubs’ David Ross waits for his turn during batting practice before baseball’s National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

The Cubs on Thursday announced a three-year deal with former catcher David Ross, who becomes the 55th manager in club history. 

|
In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, then-Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon stands in the dugout before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar, File)

Maddon agreed to become the Los Angeles Angels’ manager on Wednesday, reuniting the World Series-winning former manager of the Chicago Cubs with the organization where he spent the first three decades of his baseball career.

|
(WTTW News)

The lovable losers aren’t as popular as they used to be — at least if TV ratings are any guide. Two back-to-back end-of-season collapses helped drive down TV ratings for the 2019 season.