Be still your heart when you hear about this Cubs fan’s anthem dream

GoFundMe/Stefan Xidas
GoFundMe/Stefan Xidas /

Chicago Cubs fan Stefan Xidas is raising money in an effort to sing the national anthem at Wrigley Field, and is donating all the money.

Wrigley Field is more than a ballpark to Cubs fans, full stop. It’s hallowed grounds that people regard as a place to both watch a ballgame and also one day spread their ashes. When the Cubs finally won the World Series back in 2016, the brick outside the stadium was lined top-to-bottom with messages from fans to loved ones marking the occasion.

That passion hasn’t gone anywhere in the two years since Clark and Addison was the center of the sports universe. Fans continue to show not only their love for the Cubs but continue to use their fandom as a prism through which to make the world a brighter place.

Stefan Xidas perfectly embodies all of that sentiment and much more.

A dream for Stefan, who has Down syndrome, is to one day (hopefully soon) sing the national anthem at Wrigley Field. He’s a die-hard Cubs fan who went as far as to write a letter to owner Tim Ricketts campaigning his cause. But Stefan’s cause is more than just about himself, he’s using it as a springboard to raise money for the Special Olympics Organization.

The deal, as outlined in his letter to Ricketts as well as a corresponding GoFundMe page, was if Stefan can raise $5,000 for the Special Olympics, Ricketts would let him sing the anthem at Wrigley.

Here’s where your heart is going to melt.

According to Stefan, whether or not he gets to sing at Wrigley is actually beside the point. He’s going to donate every cent raised — an amout that so far well exceeds his original total. As of Monday, six days after the campaign launched, almost $10,000 has been raised.

The anthem is a MacGuffin at this point, although Stefan certainly hopes he’ll be able to reach the Ricketts. The way this campaign is going, it’s going to be hard to the Cubs to miss the bright beacon of awesome that Stefan represents.

Stefan has used his fandom and love of the Cubs to do so much more than just cheer at a baseball game. He’s single-handedly helped raise gobs of money for an organization he holds near and dear to his heart, thus combining two great loves in his life.

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When the lights go out, the gates rattle closed, the game, to most folks, stops. Not for fans like Stefan. He’s what we look to when we think of fandom and great fans, and we can all do well to take a page out of his book.