On November 2, 2016, the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series championship since 1908, beating the Cleveland Indians, 8-7, in a thrilling Game 7 delayed by rain. “Let It Reign,” reads the headline in the next day’s Chicago Tribune sports section. The win snaps the so-called “Billy Goat Curse,” one of the more infamous curses in sports history, and baseball’s longest World Series title drought.
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“This fittingly has to be one of the best games of all time,’’ said Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations. “Our fans deserve this, our players deserve this…”
The Curse of the Billy Goat supposedly was placed on the Cubs in 1945 by the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern. At Game 4 of the World Series at Wrigley Field between the Cubs and Detroit Tigers, a Chicago bar owner and his pet goat were not permitted into the game. “You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again,” the bar owner proclaimed, according to USA Today.
Chicago’s all-star relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman blew a three-run lead with two outs in the eighth, giving up a run-scoring double and a two-run homer. In the 10th, however, the Cubs scored two runs following a 17-minute rain delay. Relief pitcher Mike Montgomery closed the game, touching off a raucous, on-field celebration at Cleveland’s Progressive Field and around the world by Cubs fans.
“This was torture,” said Mike Delmanowski, a lifelong Cubs fan who flew to Chicago from California just to be surrounded by other Cubs fans. “I would not have missed it for anything.”
“It’s the best game I’ve ever been a part of,” said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. “The best game I’ve seen, really.”
“It’s an unbelievable team to be part of,” said Chicago second basemen Ben Zobrist, who was named World Series Most Valuable Player.