Moline’s “Avenue of the Cubbies” spins sweet stories for World Series watching

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MOLINE, Illinois -- As traffic whizzes by on Avenue of the Cities on Friday, Oct. 28, you can almost hear the excitement. Avenue of the Cities is more like Avenue of the Cubbies these days.

"Go Cubs Go" is playing in the Roosevelt School office. Staffers decorated a statue of Theodore Roosevelt, who was still president when the Cubs last won the World Series in 1908.

"Why not dress him up as a Cubs fan?" said Julie Boyle.

Rough Rider Roosevelt surprises visitors with his get-up.

"At first, they're startled, because they feel like someone's standing by them," she said.

The school cafeteria looks more like a North Side cafe.

"Oh, it's huge," said Sue Bennett.  "Huge, huge, huge -- you can't focus on anything else," she said.

Sue put up a Cubs tree, a friendly skeleton, lots of balloons and even a scoreboard to monitor the games.

"When I come back on Monday, I want to put a huge "W" on that," she said.

Just down the street, Ray'z Barber Shop spins Cubs colors from the pole. There's window displays and families suiting up in Cubs gear to shop. Some of the memories are especially poignant.

"He taught us to respect the game," said Jan Thomas.

Inside Donut Delite, Thomas is thinking about her dad, the late Tom Dalton.

"He always said, 'They should let me manage. Just one game. I can do it,'" she recalled.

Jan showed her dad's baseball card from a Cubs Fantasy Camp in 1987.

"It's kind of neat," she remembered.  "In the back of my mind, I still hear him: 'Oh, they jammed him. Oh, he swung on top of it.'"

Tom's grandson will represent him in the Wrigley Field stands for Game 5 on Sunday. As more fans stop by for treats, this mom-and-pop shop comes up with colorful Cubs snacks. It's just right for the world's cutest Cubs fan, eight-year-old Sophie Keller.

Owner Sue Lillybeck hand-decorated a Chicago Cubs Long John for her.

"It has Cubs on it!" Sophie exclaimed.

Along this Avenue of the Cubbies, this World Series is already one for the record books.

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