108 Years Later Chicago Celebrates Again

ANDREW KARAMAN

The curse is over. It has finally happened. After 108 years of waiting fans can finally celebrate, because after their stellar victory over the Cleveland Indians in game seven, the Chicago Cubs are the 2016 World Series champions. For over a century it has seemed like the world was against the Cubs. Since 1908 the team had been in a championship drought, the longest in sports history. Countless times they were so close, but their luck always seemed to run out, leading fans to believe the franchise was cursed. Once again the odds were stacked against the Cubs, down three games to one. But by some miracle the Cubs won the next two games, and all of a sudden it was winner-take-all in Cleveland.

cubs-champs-team-picThe Indians would have their ace pitcher Corey Kluber on the mound and their stellar bullpen led by Andrew Miller well rested, which did not bode well for the Cubs. However, the Cubs were able to get the jump on Kluber early on, taking a quick 5-1 lead and limiting him to just four innings pitched. This allowed them to get to the bullpen early, and for the first time in the series get the best of Miller, scoring two runs off the lefty. Just when it seemed the Cubs had the game locked, Cleveland began their comeback. Starting in the bottom of the fifth the Indians brought it within two, scoring two runs off of pitcher Jon Lester’s wild pitch, making it 5-3. Later in the bottom of the eight, Cleveland trailing 6-4, the Cubs’ curse reared its ugly head once again. The Cleveland center fielder Rajai Davis delivered a two-run homer over the left field fence to tie the contest at six a piece. As Davis rounded the bases you could see the devastation on the faces of Chicago fans in the stands, as it looked as if their team would be snubbed from victory once again.

ben-zobrist-ws-mvpThe game remained scoreless coming into the ninth, and neither team could put together any scoring opportunities. This game was heading into extras. Coming off of their epic comeback, Cleveland seemed to have all of the momentum entering the tenth. But then a miracle from above came to save the Cubs. Rain began to pour down onto the field, and the grounds crew had to pull out the tarp and call for a delay. The delay gave the Cubs a chance to regroup as a team, and veteran outfielder Jason Heyward stepped up to deliver an inspiring locker room speech. When asked about Heyward’s speech, teammate Ben Zobrist said “he said, ‘You know what, whatever’s happened up to this point in the game, we’ve got to forget about it. It’s over. We’re still the best team. We’re going to pull this thing out. We need to pull together and chip away. We’re going to win this game.’” The speech served as a rally cry to the Cubs. Immediately after the delay, top of the tenth, second baseman Ben Zobrist delivered an RBI double to left, giving the Cubs a 7-6 lead. The Cubs managed to tack on an insurance run to make it 8-6, and despite the indians scoring a run, their efforts were not enough.

Chicago had done it, the curse had been broken. Cubs fans everywhere rejoiced as their team celebrated in the middle of the diamond, with players’ emotions on a high as they jumped, hugged and celebrated their championship. When asked to describe how he was feeling after the win, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said “i’m in a glass case of emotion right now”. Once the team settled down, second baseman Ben Zobrist was awarded the world series MVP award. He had an impressive batting average of .357 over the course of the seven game series, and drove in the huge go-ahead RBI double in the tenth inning that sealed the Cubs’ victory. This contest was one of the most exciting and entertaining sporting events we have seen in awhile, and it was truly amazing to see Chicago break their drought in such spectacular fashion.

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