Cubs boot ‘Ronnie Woo Woo’

“Ronnie Woo Woo” wants to sue the Chicago Cubs, which just goes to show you — if last year’s World Series didn’t — that these aren’t really the Cubs anymore.

Ronnie, whose real name is Ronald Wickers, is one of those fans from yesteryear, which makes sense since he’s 75 now.

He is — as they say — a character, one of those fans who becomes part of the entertainment. Some folks get tired of an old man yelling “Cubs…. Woo!” through the whole game.

Last month, the Cubs threw Ronnie Woo out of Wrigley Field. Try to read that sentence in a Harry Caray voice for maximum delight.

Security guards asked him for his ticket. He didn’t have one to show. He says his ticket was an e-ticket on his friend’s phone. His friend wouldn’t show the tickets, the Chicago Tribune says.

Being legendary doesn’t get you into Wrigley Field, the team says. There might have been a time when a team would look the other way for some characters. But those days are over.

“Throughout the years, Ronnie Wickers has attempted to enter Wrigley Field without a ticket and he is politely turned away by staff,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said. ”Wickers, like any other fan or celebrity, must have a ticket to attend a game at Wrigley Field. No exceptions.

“We take ticket integrity seriously so if you attempt to enter a section in the first or seventh inning you must produce a ticket when asked.”

Wickers was well known at Wrigley for his cheerleading, and when he didn’t appear in the bleachers early in 1987 the Sun-Times printed an article with the headline “Cubs ‘woo’ man vanishes,” along with the subhead: “Misses first game in 17 yrs. amid murder rumor.”

The Tribune tracked Wickers down at a pizza restaurant where he was working and had him deliver pizzas to the newsroom. Wickers walked into Tribune Tower chanting “I’m alive, woo! I’m alive, woo!”

Wickers is no longer able to yell, having lost his voice a few years ago. Still, his penchant for making news annoys some fans, and he has been seen wearing his Cubs uniform at funerals of celebrities, including Harry Caray, Mayor Jane Byrne and boxer Muhammed Ali.

Many fans take selfies with Wickers or ask for his autograph, feeling his shtick is harmless fun.

“For him to be here all these years, win, lose or draw, and for people to dislike him or be talking (bad) about him … c’mon, ” former Cubs outfielder Gary “Sarge” Matthews once said. “The guy is enjoying himself. He’s not hurting anyone. He’s not out begging for anything. He’s a Cub fan.

Wickers says if the Cubs think he snuck into the stadium, they should show him the videotape to prove it. He claims discrimination and threatens to take a court case all the way to the Supreme Court.

See? Old school.

  • MikeB

    Here’s where the Cubs start a new curse

  • Zachary

    Fan, or celebrity, or icon, or goat, or whathaveyou – you need a ticket. I think that’s even spelled out on the ticket itself.
    Personally – I hate, hate, hate – etickets. I know to many people who have been double sold on ‘the hub for tickets’ (if you get where I am going..) or flat out the bar code didn’t scan. Give me the ‘old card stock any day. Plus, you can’t wear a cool eticket hat…

    • Jerry

      I used to tuck ticket stubs into the CD jewel cases of bands I’d seen in concert. Now both of those things are relics of the past.

  • Ben

    One of the things that struck me last year watching the Cubs in the playoffs was how few African Americans I saw in the stands at Wrigley Field. Maybe that’s the case for most ballparks, but I noticed it at Wrigley. I bet his discrimination claim isn’t too unwarranted.

    • Tim

      Traditionally, Cubs fandom is stronger on the North Side of the city and Sox fandom on the South Side (along with the suburbs adjacent to both), so yeah, what you saw isn’t surprising considering the demographics of the areas.

  • Barton

    I am still stuck on why his “friend” wouldn’t show the eticket on his phone….

    I am also confused by the seemingly random (not random if he has been known to sneak in before?) check of a person’s ticket stub once inside the stadium. I know if you complain about a fellow attendee, security will start with asking to see their ticket, but is that what happened here? Or does security randomly ask for proof of ticket once people are inside the park?