CLEVELAND — After a 108-year wait for a World Series championship, the Cubs had to wait just a bit longer and the brief rain delay came at precisely the ideal time for Jason Heyward to give the players a pep talk.
A 17-minute delay followed the ninth inning, then Ben Zobrist smacked a tiebreaking RBI double in a two-run 10th that raised the Cubs to a 8-7 victory over the Indians on Wednesday night in Game 7.
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“It was just like a heavyweight fight, guy,” explained Zobrist, who was named World Series MVP. “Just blow for blow, everybody playing their heart out. The Indians never gave up either, and I can not believe we’re finally standing, after 108 years, eventually able to hoist the trophy.”
Game 7 of a series in almost any sport is significant, but this was more than a baseball match to Cubs fans. This win ended more than a century of frustration since the Cubs won their first championship since 1908, ending the longest drought in sports. This was for Ernie and Ronnie and Billy and many more.
“It is really great for our entire Cub-dom to get beyond this moment and continue to proceed,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said,”because now, based on the young players we have in this organization, we’ve got an opportunity to be great for quite a while, and without any limitations, without any of the negative dialogue.”
Dexter Fowler, Javier Baez and David Ross each homered, and the Cubs had leads of 5-1 and 6-3, but the Indians rallied against Aroldis Chapman in the eighth, tying the game at 6 on Rajai Davis’ two-run homer.
The Cubs would be the first team to return from a three-games-to-one deficit and win Games 6 and 7 on the street since the 1979 Pirates.
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