Being a White Sox fan, I’ve been slow to report on the Cubs historic World Series win. However, it’s not like I wasn’t paying attention. Prior to the season, the Cubs signed slugger Jason Heyward to a $184 million contract. The contract called for Heyward to cover right field but didn’t require him to get any hits.
Then, due to a misprint on their T-shirts, the Cubs “try to suck” by trading Dexter Fowler to the Baltimore Orioles. On April 7, Fowler miraculously emerged from the ivy — just in time to crash into Kyle Schwarber. After Schwarber underwent a double leg transplant, he said he’d be available to pinch hit in the World Series.
Following the devastating injury, manager Joe Madden tried to keep the clubhouse loose, by taking his players on a shopping spree to the American Girl store. Kris Bryant was happy with his Molly doll but broke with teammates by refusing to wear the matching outfit or attend the tea party. Thanks in part to Bryant’s hot hitting, the Cubs jump out to a 25-6 start.
During the streak, Jake Arrieta becomes the first Cubs starter to pitch a complete game — while wearing only cleats and a cap. Free-swinging Javy Baez becomes the first Cub to strike out from the on-deck circle. He atones for this by covering all four infield positions at the same time. Another outstanding fielder, Anthony Rizzo, races up ramps to snag a foul ball in the upper deck. He emerges triumphantly from the stands with the ball, a beer and nachos.
Meanwhile, catcher David Ross, the only member of the team to play in the 1945 World Series, catches a 100-mph warmup toss from Aroldis Chapman and immediately announces his retirement. Clean-living, clutch-hitting Ben Zobrist becomes the first Cub to go on the disabled list with an ice cream headache.
Maddon keeps things loose by having the Cubs take the field in blue leisure suits. Rizzo confounds the opposing pitcher by standing directly in front of home plate and gets hit in the lapel. Maddon suddenly summons Miguel Montero to pinch run for Rizzo. He becomes the first catcher to steal second while wearing his full gear.
After winning 103 games, the Cubs beat the Giants in the National League Division Series, thanks to the hitting heroics of pitchers, Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood. Advancing to the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, the Cubs are blanked by veteran lefthander Vin Scully. They finally break through against Scully in Game Six, to win the series.
In the World Series, the Cubs face the Cleveland Cuyahogas, whose logo of a flaming river on their caps offends environmentalists. After losing Game 1, Schwarber’s bat propels them to victory in Game 2. The Cubs also get a boost when Addison Russell becomes the first player to make the jump from the Little League World Series to the major league championship in the same season.
Falling behind in the series, three games to one, the Cubs use closer Chapman for 17 consecutive innings. After having his left arm re-attached, Chapman said he was available for Game 7. Ross homers and is the first to round the bases using a walker. Tied in the 10th inning, a rain delay extinguishes the river and gives the Cubs a chance to regroup. After another clutch hit by Zobrist, Schwarber steals home with the winning run.
Cemeteries in Chicago empty of Cub fans. They rise up to celebrate the victory at Grant Park, before heading to the polls to vote. History was made twice in seven days but I’ll get to the election later.
John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.