Rain helps Cubs regroup, and take World Series title in epic Game 7

The Chicago Cubs ended their drought, bringing home the World Series championship for the first time in 108 years, and giving Americans a break from a nasty electoral season, at least for one night.

Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Fans of the National League baseball team Chicago Cubs gather at New York's Kelly's bar to watch the Major League Baseball World Series game 7 against American League's Cleveland Indians.

Long-suffering fans of the Chicago Cubs erupted in celebration early Thursday from Cleveland to Wrigleyville and beyond, alternating between elation and disbelief after their team put an end to the longest dry spell in sports history – with the help of some rain.

In a hard-fought victory that could inspire baseball fans for generations, the Cubs overcame the Cleveland Indians, 8-7, in a 10-inning Game 7 of the World Series, a match that held crowds in suspense until the very end, at 12:47 a.m.

"It was like a heavyweight fight, man. Just blow for blow, everybody playing their heart out," Cubs second baseman and World Series MVP Ben Zobrist told CNN. "The Indians never gave up either, and I can't believe we're finally standing, after 108 years, finally able to hoist the trophy."

This marks the first time since 1908 that the Cubs have won a World Series, and it breaks a 71-year-old "curse" that some superstitious fans say had been in force since a Chicago tavern owner and his goat were denied entrance to Wrigley Field on Oct. 6, 1945, just one month after World War II ended.

Although most of the current Cubs players were born in the 1990s and remain unlikely to believe in curses, USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale credited the reversal in part to a rain delay that halted Cleveland's momentum just before the 10th inning.

"It saved the Cubs from their worst collapse in franchise history, and perhaps the most painful winter any of them would ever endure, into the most beautiful evening of their lives," Mr. Nightengale wrote.

The delay, which lasted 17 minutes, gave the Cubs an opportunity to recompose themselves and listen to a pep talk from right fielder Jason Heyward in the weight room.

"I think the rain delay was the best thing that ever happened to us, to be honest with you," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer told USA Today. "Things had kind of stopped going in our direction.

"I think that delay allowed our guys to regroup. And maybe, after 108 years, you get some divine intervention."

Cubs pitcher Jon Lester said the young players on the team should take pride in having won the hard way, though the reality of their accomplishment might not sink in for awhile.

"Some of the guys in here are so young, I really don't think they understand what they just accomplished," Lester told ESPN. "I don't think they'll understand it until they get a little bit older."

The Cubs are among only seven teams to win the World Series after losing three of the first four games. The Kansas City Royals were the most recent team to accomplish that, in 1985.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said this is the sort of game that could reinvigorate enthusiasm for the sport.

"It could not have been a more entertaining, difficult series to win," Mr. Maddon told CNN. "I think beyond all that, I want to believe and I do believe this is good for our game moving forward, that we're attempting to seize young fans and not just to play the game, but to be fans of the game. You cannot be more entertained than you were over these last seven games. It's incredible."

The historic Cubs victory left their opponents with a bruising history of defeat. The Indians, who last won a World Series in 1948, now have the longest dry spell between championships. Despite the stinging loss, which echoes a similar loss to the then-Florida now-Miami Marlins in 1997, the Indians should be proud of themselves, team manager Terry Francona said.

"It's going to hurt," he told CNN. "It hurts because we care, but they need to walk with their head held high because they left nothing on the field. And that's all the things we ever ask them to do. They tried until there was nothing left."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Rain helps Cubs regroup, and take World Series title in epic Game 7
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today