Having the opportunity to see your favorite team win a championship is often a once in a lifetime experience. Especially if you’re a Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians fan.
There are probably not any Cubs fans in the world who can honestly say they have witnessed a World Series championship. The last time they won was in 1908, 108 years ago! To put this in perspective, Tickets to the game cost $1 each, which was expensive considering the average worker only made only $200-$400 per year! In 1908 the population of Las Vegas Nevada was 30, only 8% of households had telephones & the maximum speed limit in most cities was only 10 miles per hour! It’s amazing how the times have changed!
The Cubs did manage to make it to the World Series in 1945, but lost to the Tigers in 7 games.
Cleveland Indians fans have waited 68 years to see their team hoist the Commissioners trophy. They too have been to the World Series since their last championship, but lost the world series in 1954, 1995 & 1997.
With both teams playing agains each other in the 2016 World Series, we made the decision to seek out a WWII veteran who has waited their entire life to see the Cubs or Indians win a World Series Title & be a part of history!
Meet Marine CPL Peter Scaffidi.
CPL Scaffidi was born and raised in Cleveland. He grew up an Indians fan. At the age of 17 he joined the United States Marine Corp & proudly served our country from 1943-1946 in World War II. While the Cubs competed for the championship in 1945, CPL Scaffidi was preparing to serve as a good will ambassador in occupied Nagasaki, Japan, where he remained for 6 months after the war until he was honorably discharged, as a Corporal, in May, 1946. Peter eventually moved to Chicago in 1963. He quickly became a Cubs fan & has been cheering them on for more than 50 years!
CPL Scaffidi was nominated to us by his daughter. She said it would be a dream of a lifetime to her dad watch his 2 favorite teams play against each other in the World Series!
Operation Warrior Wishes was about to make this WWII Warriors’ dream a reality!
Ticket prices in Chicago were fetching more than $2000 each just for a standing room only ticket. Therefore, we looked to Cleveland and were able to find 2 tickets in the 10th row of the bleachers for less than $1k each! It worked out perfectly as CPL Scaffidi was originally from Cleveland & was going to go “home” to see the game!
Ralph, one of our directors, joined us on this mission. I was scheduled to work early Thursday morning & knew I would need help driving and hosting CPL Scaffidi. My dad would have joined us, but he is busy on with our 2016 “All32in17 mission, so we dropped my him off at the airport to catch his flight to Nashville to make warrior wishes come true at the Thursday night Titans game, on the way to Cleveland.
Xander also tagged along to give mommy some time to relax with baby Quinn.
We all met up with CPL Scaffidi & his family at the Cubs team hotel. Unfortunately, we pulled up as their team bus pulled out to take the players to the stadium. There is no doubt in my mind that the players would have stopped to thank this WWII veteran for his service as they boarded the bus, it’s too bad we missed them…
Xander, Ralph & myself walked from tower station to the stadium, while CPL Scaffidi drove with his family. Due to heavy traffic, we beat them to the stadium & attempted to exchange our 10th row tickets for an accessible seat to accommodate the warrior who was in a wheel chair. With ticket prices soaring, we never expected to have the opportunity to get into the game. Ralph & I just planned to make sure CPL Scaffidi was able to get into the stadium with no issues and we were going to stand outside with Xander or find a restaurant to watch the game at. But when we attempted to trade out the tickets we asked if there were any tickets available. We got lucky and we’re able to buy standing room only tickets at the box office for $100! I made sure to buy a ticket for CPL Scaffidi’s daughter and and tickets for us.
Thankfully we were able to get in since they would not allow me to trade out the tickets for ADA seats outside the stadium. After we went in I immediately made my way to customer service to trade out the seats and was eventually able to get Peter & his family great seats down the 3rd base line.
Needless to say, this WWII warrior took it all in & had the experience of a lifetime!
The Cubs had lost game 1 and had yet to score in the World Series. That all changed quickly as scored quickly in the first inning and never looked back. The Cubs beat the Indians by the score of 5-1 & won their first World Series game in 71 years!
It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to host CPL Scaffidi and make this Warrior’s wish come true at the World Series!
The Indians went on to win the following 2 games to take a 3-1 series lead, but the Cubs fought their way back and never gave up! They ultimately won their first World Series Title in 108 years and officially broke the curse! We can’t wait to get CPL Scaffidi his 2016 World Series Champions Cap!
Operation Warrior Wishes would like to take a minute to thank all of our supporters across the country. From those who have donated tickets, meals, money & their time. You are all the reason we have the opportunity to put smiles on the faces of all these Warriors and we seriously couldn’t have made it all possible without you! THANK YOU!!!
TOGETHER WE MAKE WARRIOR WISHES COME TRUE!