Chicago Cubs Fans Celebrate First World Series Win In 108 Years

Nov 3, 2016
Originally published on November 3, 2016 7:14 pm
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After a World Series Game 7 that truly had it all - leadoff homer, wild pitches, a comeback, an extra inning, even a rain delay - the Chicago Cubs have finally broken the most infamous streak in American sports. For Cubs fans, 108 years of heartbreak have come to an end. NPR's Cheryl Corley is in Chicago and brings us this picture of jubilation.

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Any team can have a bad century. That's how the late, great Chicago Cubs announcer Jack Brickhouse used to talk about the Chicago Cubs. For years, the Cubs have been called the lovable losers. But after battling back from a three-one series deficit, they turned that talk about a bad century, doomsday and a Billy Goat curse around. They beat the Cleveland Indians eight-to-seven in extra innings, sending Chicagoans into a frenzy.

(CHEERING)

CORLEY: Thousands of Cubs fans poured from bars into the street around Wrigley Field. Sixty-seven-year-old Margie Genovese (ph) called the victory a magic moment.

MARGIE GENOVESE: You have to bend, though, through to the disappointment, and now we finally got our pay.

CORLEY: Just about everyone knows the numbers here. The Cubs last appeared in the World Series 71 years ago. The team last won it in 1908. And for 101-year-old Cubs fan Virginia Wood (ph), who will soon turn 102, the Cubs' victory was a dream come true.

VIRGINIA WOOD: Well, it's been the best birthday present for one thing. For another thing, long in coming and I think we deserve everything we get.

(SOUNDBITE OF POP MUSIC)

CORLEY: The Cubs won 103 games during the regular season, a Major League best. Late last night, 52-year-old Steve Urbach said while he's heard all the talk about a dynasty, there's no guarantee. Urbach says this team's players, though, just don't quit.

STEVE URBACH: The key is that this team is so young, they have no concept of the disappointment of history. So they don't even understand it. They can't fathom that. So all they see is opportunity and hope. So I'm really looking forward to many more years here with really - a really good winning streak.

CORLEY: Throughout the day, fans like 28-year-old Louis Uhler have been coming to take a picture of a marquee up in front of Wrigley Field. It reads World Series Champions.

LOUIS UHLER: You look at the sign, and you see that they - you see that they really did it. And I'm going in between tearing up and crying and just partying.

CORLEY: His friend Brian Kannberg says the Cubs' fight to remain in the series and the 10th inning nail-biter win against the Indians shows the grit of the Cubs' star-studded lineup.

BRIAN KANNBERG: That was the most Cubs way to ever win a game. Like, your back's against the wall, especially after being down three-one and everything.

CORLEY: With just a game away from losing, the Cubs battled back to win the best of seven series. This morning a few fans still lingered at the bar in the restaurant named for the late sports announcer Harry Caray. Fifty-one-year-old Frank Greenan (ph) says the Cubs' victory gives a whole new meaning to wait until next year.

FRANK GREENAN: They could do a couple more times. Course, it'd be nice if they could do it two years in a row, but, you know, we can't be greedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Be greedy. Be greedy.

GREENAN: (Laughter) We're happy with what we got. We're world champions. How many times can you say that?

CORLEY: After 108 years, the Cubs join the Chicago White Sox as World Series title holders. No more lovable losers - instead, call them wonderful winners. As Harry Carey would say, holy cow. Cheryl Corley, NPR News, Chicago. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.