Erin Heatherton & The Chicago Cubs Are Equally Ready For A Big Win

In 1969, 20 years before Erin Heatherton was born, the Chicago Cubs featured four star players who would later be inducted into the Baseball of Fame. The team hadn’t won the World Series since 1908. But, surely, this would be the year? They were in first place for nearly the entire season. They were a juggernaut. Then one day in September, a black cat slinked past one of the star Cubbies, the late Ron Santo, as he stood in the on-deck circle during a game in New York. The curse was set. Not only did the Cubs not win the World Series, they didn’t even make the playoffs.

Now, it’s 2016. The Cubs have been in first place all season; in fact, they have the best record in all of Major League Baseball. Four of their players are on track to make the National League All-Star team. And once again there is talk on the North Side that this will be the year. Will it?

“This is our year, for sure,” Heatherton says in an interview with Bustle. “I absolutely think so. Go hard or go home.”

Given the Cubs’ history of trying and failing, you can forgive their fans if they’re not as confident as Heatherton is. But for the model and actress who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Skokie, Chicago sports provide something of an inner peace.

“When it’s a beautiful day and you’re in a beautiful, classic ballpark (Wrigley Field) and you’re cheering with the people for a team they’ve cheered for for decades, it’s about being part of a group and the energy. That’s when you really start to feel part of something,” Heatherton says. “There’s something about that camaraderie that’s so beautiful. There’s something beautiful about the hometown pride, where you come from. That’s what sports are about. Being proud of where you come from.”

The bond between the Cubbies and their fans is unbreakable, even when the team, like they did in 1969, seems on the cusp of a championship, only to collapse. There’s even a theory that the Cubs are lovable because they lose.

Heatherton describes as almost something sacred the passion for Chicago sports that her parents, Laura and Mark, expressed daily at their home in Skokie, where they still live. "I grew up on sports AM radio,” she says. “My parents, all they did is watch sports. Like, my mom on Mother’s Day went to a (Milwaukee) Brewers game. I really love that I have parents like that because it’s so far removed from my life as a model. People in Chicago, they are really into their sports teams. I can’t even imagine not having that. It’s a blessing.”

And now, the ever-hopeful Heatherton says, “We have the awakening of this team.”

Cubs fans will know by October whether this team is blessed or cursed.