By Emily Cole
A bated breath that had been kept inside for 108 years finally turned into a sigh of relief, and then evolved quickly into a cry for joy. Early morning on Thursday November 3rd, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908. The team triumphed over the Cleveland Indians at their own field, Progressive Stadium, with a score of 8-7.
The Cubs had a bleak start to the World Series. The team lost the first game in a 6-0 shutout, and by the end of Game 4, the Indians only needed one more win to take home the championship. But the Cubs did not lose hope; they did not give up. They went on to win both Game, 5 and 6, tying both teams and creating a suspenseful Game 7.
At first, the Cubs’ performance and the Indians’ lack thereof seemed promising for the Cubs. By the end of the sixth inning, the Cubs were winning 6-3. The clouds started to part and a light at the end of the tunnel appeared. And then, at the bottom of the eighth with only one more at bat for the Cubs, Rajai Davis of the “down-by-three” Cleveland Indians came up to bat. Wth the loud crack of the bat, he sent the baseball flying into the stands, bringing in a runner and tying the game six to six in the ninth inning, of Game 7.
The Indian’s fans’ spirits suddenly perked up. Though not as well as known as the World Series drought of the Cubs, the Indians had gone 68 years without a World Series title. In the eleventh hour, Rajai Davis gave Indians fans around the country a ray of hope. It had become anyone’s game at the same time, the faces ofCubs fans faces turned pale. The clouds began to rumble and the light disappeared. What seemed so sure could now be snatched away at the last minute. With short and anxious breaths, they watched on as the Cubs came up to bat. And to great horror, it was in vain. Their only hope was to take the game into extra innings, and indeed, Cubs’ pitcher Aroldis Chapman held off the Indians through three outs to send the game into extra innings.
Scientists have often wondered if there is a definite way to create pure anxiety in a human being. The answer is yes, provided you have the following ingredients: a tied game, that game being Game 7 of the World Series; entering extra innings; neither of the teams having won in over 50 years, and the announcement of a rain delay. The stress was palpable—whether watching at the stadium, with family and friends or simply watching in a dorm room and reading the entire country’s tweets. Rain covered the feild for 15 minutes and the players waited nervously in the dugouts to resume the game. They did not have to wait long before the tarp was rolled away and the game was back on.
The Cubs came in strong to the 10th inning, with a hit right off the bat from Kyle Schwarber, designated hitter. Albert Almora was brought in as a pinch-runner for Schwarber, and when he saw an opportunity from Kris Bryant, was able to safely advance to second base, where a double from Ben Zobrist brought him home, advancing the Cubs, lead by one. After pitcher Bryan Shaw intentionally walked Addison Russell, the bases were loaded. And with a single from now-hero Miguel Montero, the Cubs pulled into a strong lead coming into the bottom of the 10th.
The Indians stepped up to the plate knowing it was now or never. It went quickly and painfully at first – a strikeout for Mike Napoli and a ground out for Jose Ramirez. After that, Brandon Guyer was walked, and the tying run came up to bat – Rajai Davis, the Cubs’ savior from earlier in the game. Davis once again shined a ray of hope for the Indians, just not one big enough. He hit a single to close the gap to one run, but on the next batter, Michael Martinez, the game was over with a quick groundout.
No one walked away sad that day. The Indians fans left the game disappointed, but still feeling the adrenaline high of what was surely one of the most exciting World Series games in history. And the Cubs fans—well, it wasn’t just the fans that erupted with ecstasy. The Cubs team leaped over the dugout fence, whooping and hollering with tears watering in their eyes. The stadium cheered. Fans outside Wrigley Field in Chicago danced and hugged. Twitter exploded—fans and otherwise congratulating the team. After 108 years, the curse had been lifted and clouds had parted. The next year that Cubs fans always waited for had arrived.