For the first time in more than a century, the Chicago Cubs have won baseball’s World Series.
When the Cubs last won the title in 1908, Theodore Roosevelt was president, sliced bread hadn’t yet been invented, and Ford had just begun producing the Model T automobile. Now, the Lovable Losers, dogged by what superstitious fans said was a curse derived from a billy goat, are champions.
The World Series came down to Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians, who have endured a long championship drought of their own—their last title came in 1948. The young Cubs team was led by second-year manager Joe Maddon and shaped by baseball guru Theo Epstein, who ended Boston’s long drought in 2004. They came back from a 3-1 deficit in the Series, winning the final three games.
The Cubs opened up scoring early in the game, with a first inning home run by lead-off hitter Dexter Fowler. Chicago was boosted by two other home runs by catcher David Ross and second baseman Javier Baez. Jon Lester, a starting pitcher, served up three strong innings of relief for the Cubs, holding off the Indians before handing off to closer Aroldis Chapman. In the eighth inning, though, Chapman blew the save, giving up two runs.
It looked as though the Cubs may yet again miss out on the title. But in the top of the 10th inning, with the game tied at 6, after play was delayed 17 minutes by rain, Ben Zobrist hit a double to score Albert Almora Jr. to take the lead. The Cubs would score another run, bringing an 8-6 lead into the bottom of the 10th inning.
Cleveland wasn’t done, scoring another run in the bottom of the 10th. But as Mike Montgomery threw the final pitch of the game, thousands of fans in Wrigleyville celebrated, none of whom were likely alive the last time their team won the World Series.