If you are going to endure years — no, generations — of futility and heartbreak, when you do finally win a World Series championship, it may as well be a memorable one.
The Chicago Cubs did just that, shattering their 108-year championship drought in epic fashion: with an 8-7, 10-inning victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7, which began on Wednesday night, carried into Thursday morning and seemed to end all too soon.When the Indians rallied with three runs in the eighth inning — including a two-out, two-strike, two-run thunderbolt of a home run by Rajai Davis off closer Aroldis Chapman — the Cubs found a way to beat back the ghosts of playoffs past.After a brief rain delay following the ninth inning, they pushed two runs across in the 10th inning on a double by Ben Zobrist, the Series’s most valuable player, and a single by Miguel Montero.The Cubs then had to hold their breath in the bottom of the inning when Davis hit a run-scoring single to pull the Indians to a run behind. But reliever Mike Montgomery replaced Carl Edwards and got Michael Martinez to hit a slow roller into the infield. Third baseman Kris Bryant scooped it up and threw across to first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
St. Louis was simply a team that had no business being there. Coming from 10 games back at the beginning of September (to beat our Atlanta Braves, no less) to win a wild card berth, no one expected them to go this far. They dumped the mighty Phillies, whipped the surging Brewers (who everyone predicted would win the Series back in March), and simply would not let the Rangers finish them off, going all 7 games to prove it.
The Cardinals were on their deathbed, with the priest ready to come in and administer final rights, several times. In game 6, to be within one out (one strike!) of being eliminated, only to keep coming back over and over...you know the Rangers were just shaking their heads, thinking "these guys are like cockroaches...you can't kill them off."
Was it the greatest series of all time? I'll leave it to those much more knowledgeable in baseball history to answer that. But put it this way: I never thought the '91 or '11 series would be topped...and I think they just were.