My old friend Yogi Berra would have been proud of the resurgence in baseball interest built around the two teams with the longest streaks without winning the World Series, the Cubs at 108 years and Indians at 68 years.
Yogi once said,
"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else."
Well the Cubs knew where they were going from the beginning of the season and the result would be ending the losing streak. From start to finish of the long season, they were the best team in baseball, but they were saddled with a 108-year curse.
|1906 Cubs who lost World Series then won in 1907 and 1908|
Tonight, in one of the greatest championship games in World Series history, they proved to be the blue collar, hard working, and dedicated team they foresaw. There were no superstars on the Cubs. Many other teams paid their players much more.
Some said the kids on the team were too young, and that the older players were too old. Yet here they sit, World Champions. Heroes were a dime a dozen in this epic classic. The Cubs surged ahead, then, the Indians slowly chopped away at the lead until they finally tied it in the bottom of the eighth inning.
When no one scored in the ninth it was in to extra innings but not before a rain delay that pushed the end time to 1 AM. Finally, the Cubs scrapped back with two runs in the top of the tenth, only to have the Indians score one and have the winning run at bat.
The roller coaster of a game left everyone exhausted and even on the final out the Cub player slipped on the wet field before managing to throw the last Indian batter out with the tying run heading for home.
Both coaches, Joe Maddon of the Cubs and Terry Francona of the Indians, were exceptional, beloved by their players, and generated the enthusiasm usually found before the players become professionals and the measure of success was how much money one made.
Not these teams.
For one night,
America united in watching the kind
of World Series not found since the 1950's when the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers,
and New York Giants dominated the game. Not even ads from the two candidates for
president could distract the millions glued to their television sets.
I knew the night would be special right from the start when these working class teams had no entertainment superstar sing the national anthem. Instead, they announced a group of musicians from the Chicago Symphony would play the anthem, but the crowd must sing. It was a moving patriotic tribute to the people of this country and the thousands of fans sand their hearts out.
Thank you Cubs and Indians for reminding us what made
the unsung heroes, the work ethic to be the best, the camaraderie of the
players, the attitude of not giving up on your dream, and the faith they had in