After 108 Years, Chicago Cubs are World Champions Again
by Andrew DAmbrosio on Friday, November 18th, 2016
The 108-year-long wait is finally over. The Cubs are World Series Champions! On November 2, the Chicago Cubs overcame their century-old playoff losing streak by defeating the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the World Series at Progressive Field. In an exciting game that included comebacks, rain delays, and extra innings, the Cubs ultimately prevailed 8-7 over a talented Indians baseball club. According to The Chicago Tribune, the triumph marked the Cubs’ first championship since 1908.
As a precursor of things to come, Chicago’s Dexter Fowler started the game with a home run blast to center field in the 1st inning. Later, in the 3rd inning, Cleveland’s Carlos Santana hit a line drive single to send Coco Crisp home to score. Over the next few innings, the Cubs broke the game open by scoring four runs on hits by Willson Contreras, Javier Baez, and Anthony Rizzo.
Cleveland responded in the 5th inning, when Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, and Carlos Santana scored, shrinking the Cubs’ lead to 5-3. In the bottom of the 5th, however, the Cubs’ veteran catcher, David Ross, responded with a monstrous home run to give the Cubs a 6-3 lead. After a few scoreless innings, the bottom of the 8th turned wild when the relentless Cleveland Indians scored three runs to tie the game.
As the contest proceeded into the 10th inning, heavy rain started to fall, causing a game delay. Once play resumed, the Cubs’ batters did not miss a beat and veteran Ben Zobrist hit a double to drive in a run. Anthony Rizzo soon followed to give the Cubs a two run lead going into the bottom of the 10th inning. The pressure was on the Indians. While Cleveland’s Rajai Davis singled to score his team’s 7th run, the Indians could muster no more, and the Cubs were champions.
While the Cubs had won 103 games this season and were the preseason favorites to win the World Series, their 108 year losing streak was marked with dashed expectations and heartbreaking losses. In 1945, the team lost the World Series to the Detroit Tigers; in 1984, the team lost the NLCS to the San Diego Padres; most recently, in 2003, the Cubs lost to the Marlins in the NLCS. Loss and expectations of loss had become second nature for Cubs fans.
As a result, a sea of emotion spilled out onto the Chicago streets when the Cubs clinched victory. Chicago restaurants and bars over flowed with jubilant fans. The refrain was a simple “Go, Cubs, Go.” Generations of Cubs fans let go of their pent up, century-long frustration and celebrated throughout Chicago. The happiness and relief was even palpable at times.
Nearly five million fans attended the Cubs’ rolling rally on Friday, November 4th. The massive parade started in downtown Chicago and stretched nearly seven miles throughout the city. Riding large vehicles, the players thanked their fans as they slowly motored by. The governor even declared the day “World Champion Chicago Cubs Day.” Thousands skipped work and school to celebrate the occasion.
Capturing the magnitude of the moment, Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ General Manager, commented that, “this Championship is a dream come true for generations of Cubs fans.”
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