Photo Courtesy of The Chicago Tribune
Article courtesy of Sarah Joseph
Hey, Chicago what do you say? Cubs are gonna win today! Go Cubs Go!!
These words filled the streets of Chicago Wednesday after the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. It is certainly an exciting time in baseball. Like the “Curse of the Bambino” of the Boston Red Sox (which ended in 2004), the Cubs have ended the “Billy Goat Curse.” As many baseball fans know, the Cubs have had a long history of losing, which some believe to be part of the legend of the Billy Goat curse.
A brief retelling of the legend is that a man brought a goat to a game and the attendants of Wrigley Field escorted him out as he was not allowed to bring a goat into the stadium. The man grew angry and ‘cursed’ the Cubs, declaring the Cubs will not win the World Series for the next 100 years. It has been 108 years without a World Series win for the Cubs, which caused some to start to believe in the curse.
Last year was the start of the Cubs’ breakout of talent, astonishing fans and the league alike with more wins than losses. However, they lost to the Mets in the American League Championship resulting in the usual “next year” cry from trying-to-be-nonchalant-disgruntled fans. Fans hoped that “next year” will be this year and their prayers were answered.
This year, after a suspenseful roller-coaster ride for fans, the Cubs won the National League Pennant. Their win resulted in celebrations throughout Chicago. To many, these celebrations seem long overdue, since Cubs fans have been waiting 108 years. However, somewhere in the midst of the celebrations, there was a realization that the coming games will not be and were not easy.
Their opponents in the World Series, the American League Pennant Winners, the Cleveland Indians swept the Boston Red Sox in 3-0 sweep in the first round of playoffs and nearly swept the Blue Jays in the second round of playoff in a 4-1 series win. It it interesting to note that the Cubs did not have a 3-0 sweep in their first round. The Indians gave the Cubs a run for their money.
On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the first game of the World Series took place in Cleveland, giving the Indians a home-field advantage (The All-Star during summer decided who would get to be home first in the World Series; the American League won). The Indians scored early, earning 3 runs in 3 innings. In all postseason games, before the World Series, that the Indians have played, it has been recorded that every game was determined by who scored first. The Cubs were completely shut-out, being unable to hit the breaking balls of the Indian pitcher Corey Klubber. The game ended with a 6-0 Indian win.
The next day, the Cubs pounced and clinched a win, securing an indecisive tie in the series. With their spirits high, the Cubs headed home to Wrigley Field, a stadium that hasn’t witnessed a World Series in 71 years. On Friday Oct. 28, the Indians secured the series lead, winning 1-0, scoring late in the game. The next game, the Cubs were determined to bring it once again to a tie, scoring in the first inning. Unfortunately the Indians came back, despite the Cubs’ desperate fight, with the end score being 7-2. Sunday, Oct. 30, the Cubs were running the risk of losing it all, continuing the one hundred and eight year drought, nonetheless Wrigley Field was filled to the brim with Cubs fans.
Cubs fans may be many things, but no one can fault them for their patience or loyalty. The Cubs did not fail these fans, ensuring at least one more game in the series, however shaky the win might have been. That game was filled with many errors and the Indians scoring first, which is never a good sign. Nonetheless, the Cubs won with a 3-2 win. They continued to not fail the fans, with an outstanding breakout 6th game, with the Cubs winning 7-2. The Cubs forced the series to 7 games, setting in motion an outstanding comeback from any standards. The last time a team has come back from a 3-1 series deficit, was the 1985 Kansas City Royals, being the fourth team to do so.
The last game was nothing but dramatic and suspenseful. Dexter Fowler, the Cubs leadoff batter, began the game with a homerun, sparking the Cubs momentum within the first 4 pitches of the game. The Cubs ensured a lead early, with Cleveland not scoring
The series itself was full of things worthy of being in the history books. In the game that ensured a seventh game, Addison Russell,the youngest player on the Cubs roster ripped a grand slam, being the first shortstop to ever hit a grand slam in the World Series. In the last game, David Ross, the oldest player on the Cubs roster who was playing his last career game, went out in a literal bang, with not just a homerun and a World Series ring, but the record holder of being the older player to hit a homerun in the World Series. Indian player Corey Kluber set a strikeout record, striking out the 8 batters in 3 innings, breaking the World Series record for most strikeouts in the first 3 innings of a World Series game.