CHICAGO --One of the Chicago Cubs' biggest fans - and one of their oldest - is Loretta Dolan. At 102 years old, her knowledge of the game is remarkable and her loyalty to the Cubs is unmatched.
Whenever they play, she is glued to the TV. No casual viewer is she. For Loretta Dolan keeps score of every game, every batter. Right down to the pitch count.
"Yes, yes I do. Otherwise I wouldn't know. I wouldn't know who was up. Isn't that odd?" she said.
Nope, not odd. Quite remarkable, for Loretta has been keeping score of Cubs games for more than half a century. And she has proof: scorecards from as far back as '63. Williams, Santo, Banks, Hubbs. Back when a hot dog at Wrigley was 30 cents and beer was a dime more.
If Loretta didn't have a scorecard handy, she'd make one. If she missed a game, she'd use the newspaper box score to fill in the blanks.
"If I have to outcome something my daughter said, and she was wrong, I would let her know," she said.
Loretta has five daughters who don't relish west coast games because they're falling asleep and Loretta doesn't tire.
"I've never seen her doze off during a game," said Corrine Belluomini, her daughter.
"I'm so interested I can't put it down," Loretta said.
We had occasion eight years ago to warm up Loretta before she tossed out the first pitch at Wrigley. And two years ago, when she hit the century mark, Loretta was back on the field again.
Here's the magic number now. Gram is 102 years old, with a uniform to prove it. She and her huge family believe this is the magic season.
"You know when they get up to bat, they haven't got an angry look. They smile. They get up like they're going to do their jobs, and I think that's what keeps me going with them," Loretta said.
Loretta is a treasure - with a zest for life - and a deep hope that this is the year dreams become reality.
"Oh, I hope they win. I certainly hope they win," Loretta said.
Interview done. Back to the scorebook. There is a pitch count to be watched.