After celebrating a thrilling NLCS championship, the Chicago Cubs got off to a less-than-stellar start to the World Series. In Game 1, they were dominated by Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber. They lost the game 6-0, and Kluber set a World Series record, striking out eight batters in the first three innings.
The Cubs won the next game, but lost games three and four. Behind in the series three games to one, there was little hope for the Cubs. All it would take was one more win, and the Cleveland Indians would be the 2016 World Series Champions. With their backs against the wall, the Cubs battled their way to two more victories, tying the series at three games apiece.
In an epic Game 7, the Cubs faced Kluber again. This time, the Cubs scored early and pitcher Kyle Hendricks had a strong outing. With a commanding 6-3 lead in the seventh inning, it appeared the Cubs’ fate was set.
When Indians relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman entered the game, however, something went wrong. Chapman gave up one run early in the eighth inning and could not finish the inning before giving up a game-tying, two-run home run. The ninth inning passed with no scoring on either side, sending the game into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, the Cubs scored two runs, making the score 8-6. In the bottom half of the inning, the Indians put up a valiant effort, scoring one more run. With two outs in the frame, a ground ball was hit to Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. Knowing that this would be the final play of the game, Bryant fielded the ball and threw it to first base, all with a smile on his face. The Cubs emerged victorious, marking their first World Series title since 1908.
Two notable Cubs performances were by designated hitter Kyle Schwarber and catcher David Ross. Schwarber suffered an injury in the third game of the regular season and came back just in time for the World Series. He had just been cleared to play and was not yet prepared to face live pitching. Throwing Schwarber into the World Series, against some of the best pitching that baseball has to offer, was a gutsy move by Cubs manager Joe Maddon. The designated hitter looked a bit rusty in his first few at bats, but ended up playing extremely well the rest of the series.
David Ross also had an outstanding showing, especially in Game 7, which was the last game of his career. In a flare for the dramatic, Ross hit a home run in the last at bat of his career. Also, the win meant that he was able to end his career with a championship. It was a fantastic end to a long, successful MLB career.
When the game ended, Chicago fans everywhere erupted in cheers. Even though the game was played at Cleveland’s stadium, thousands of fans stood in the streets outside of Wrigley Field, cheering and celebrating in the streets. This victory means so much to the city of Chicago, after going so long without a title.
In the days following, social media exploded with memes and congratulatory posts. Even President Obama, who is from the South Side of Chicago and thus is a White Sox fan, tweeted to congratulate them on their big win. The posts that best showed what the championship meant to the city of Chicago were the videos of older fans, who had been awaiting this day for so many years.
The Chicago Cubs World Series victory was exciting for all baseball fans, not just those of the Cubs. It was the most evenly matched World Series in several years, so much so that the final game went into extra innings. The dramatic finish and the storybook ending to the Cubs’ 108-year World Series Champion drought made this Series a pleasure.