With the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians facing off in the World Series, fans in Illinois and Ohio are full of excitement — and Indiana is smack dab in the middle.
Progressive Field in Cleveland stands about 280 miles Northeast of Ball State, while Chicago's Wrigley Field is about 240 miles Northwest. Indiana doesn't have a major league team of its own, but five different MLB teams are based in neighboring states.
“There are a lot of different teams you see represented on campus, but most of the time it’s the Chicago teams” sophomore broadcast journalism major Ben Schueern said. “You do see Cincinnati Reds fans around, but since they’re not as good, it’s either Cubs or White Sox.”
Freshman pre-med major Jasmine Harris, however, doesn't root for the Cubs, Sox or Reds. Instead, her favorite team will be representing the American League in the World Series.
“I get a lot of negative comments when I wear my Indians jersey,” Harris said. “One time, someone looked at me while I had my jersey on and said ‘You know they’re going to lose, right?’”
Without a local Hoosier big-league team, lots of students root for whomever their family likes. Freshman telecommunications major Kaleb Houghton, for example, is from Rochester, Indiana, which is about 120 miles away from Wrigley.
“I just kind of grew up around them,” he said. “My grandma was the biggest Cubs fan that I had ever seen, so it just kind of rubbed off on me.”
There may be some divide on campus between the Chicago fans hoping to “Flying the W” and Cleveland fans that are “Rallying Together,” but Ball State's central location allows it to act as a natural, fairly neutral site to watch the game.
The Cubs and Indians start the World Series Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. in Cleveland. All games will be broadcasted on Fox.