This One’s For Harry [VIDEO]
They are overnight sensations, 108 years in the making.
When Cub's thirdbaseman Kris Bryant fielded Michael Matinez's grounder with two out in the bottom of the 10th inning in Cleveland last night, there were a lot of angry ghosts crying out for one last impossible miscue that would extend the Chicago Cubs' record 108 years without winning a World Championship. Whether it was the curse of the goat, the image of a ground ball through Leon Durham's legs in 1984, the black cat running across the field and crossing Ron Santo's path in 1969, or the infamous Steve Bartman in 2003, Cub's fans were certain something was going to happen to rain on their World Series parade.
And after blowing a three run lead in the eighth inning, allowing the Indians, who themselves have not won a world series since 1945, to tie the game at 6-6. After a scoreless 9th inning, the two teams prepared for extra innings to decide it in a winner take all, inning-by-inning battle, the first time the World Series has been decided in extra innings since 1997, when the, you guessed it, Cleveland Indians fell in 11 innings to the Florida Marlins 3-2.
Rain came after the ninth, and fate seemed as it was once again going to intervene, even after a 27 minute rain delay, even after scoring two runs to take an 8-6 lead, something was still there haunting the Cubs and their fans. Cleveland got one run back, and when Martinez hit his two out roller towards third, Bryant charged the slow roller and lost his footing as he threw to first. The ball could have sailed over first baseman Anthony Rizzo and down the rightfield line, allowing the tying run to score. The ball could have bounced in front of Rizzo allowing Martinez to beat it out. It could have gone wide of its mark and sailed into the dugout and again, allowed the tying run to score.
But this year, this time, there were no billy goats or black cats. The ghosts that were looking down last night were those of Santo, "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks and Harry Carrey, the Cubs esteemed announcer through so many bad years. Those ghosts, happily looking down to the throngs that partied outside Wrigley Fiield on the corner of Waveland and Sheffield through out the night, are now smiling, because first the first time since 1908, the Cubbies, the venerable laughing stock of major league baseball, won the final game of the season, the one that mattered the most.
Listen in as, through the miracle of modern technology, we get to hear Carrey call the final out, as his beloved Cubbies finally win the big one. One last "Cubs WIN, CUBS WIN!!!" for old times sake. All a kid who grew up watching the Cubs play on WGN in Chicago can say is "HOLY COW!"
P.S.: From Cubs fans everywhere, "Steve Bartman, please come home, all is forgiven."