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April 12, 2013

Knoxville Cubs' fans hold candlelight vigil for 2013 season

Dozens of Knoxville baseball fans gathered downtown Thursday night to hold a candlelight vigil for the Chicago Cubs 2013 season while it continues to go from bad to worse in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League.

Cubs' supporters gathered in Krutch Park where they lit candles at sunset and sang songs to the Cubbies. Some wiped away tears. Others knelt on the ground and prayed. Many supporters said they felt sad, yet remained hopeful that somehow the 2014 Cubs might finally pull this off.

"The 2013 season was a vibrant, active, and energetic member of the sports' community," Jessica Whitney of North Knoxville said at the vigil. Whitney, 37, said she grew up in Chicago and that her father used to take her to games every summer.

"We were really close," she said. "I watched their good games. I watched their bad games. Mostly I watched their bad games. They were, after all, the Cubs."

"We're praying for the North Siders tonight," said Matthew Borzasi, a third generation Cubs' fan still holding on to hope that one day his favorite team will not choke in clutch situations.

Vigil organizer Darren Rader said he wanted to give East Tennessee Cubs' fans the opportunity to grieve and find closure about the current season, still in its infancy.

"I know a lot of us have a lot of anger, a lot of confusion and a lot of questions," he said. "There is never any certainty in life, and that's especially true if you're a Cubs' fan. Unless you are certain about losing."

The vigil featured speakers addressing a somber audience about the Cubs' prospects for the 2014 World Series. The season was honored with an a cappella rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" before the candlelit memorial ended with a moment of silence.

"Right now, there is a battle for the heart and mind of baseball," Borzasi said. "We are standing in solidarity to make sure that one day things change at Wrigley Field."

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