CLEVELAND (AP) — The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series championship since 1908 when Ben Zobrist hit a go-ahead double in the 10th inning, beating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in a thrilling Game 7 delayed by rain early Thursday.
Lovable losers for generations, the Cubs nearly let this one get away, too. All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman blew a three-run lead with two outs in the eighth when Rajai Davis hit a tying homer.
But the Cubs, after tormenting their fans one more time, came right back after a 17-minute rain delay before the top of the 10th and scored twice. Davis hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom half, but Mike Montgomery got the final out.
Manager Joe Maddon’s team halted the longest title drought in baseball, becoming the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
Cleveland was trying to win its first crown since 1948, but lost the last two games at home.
World Series favorites since spring training, Chicago led the majors with 103 wins this season. The Cubs then ended more than a century of misery for their loyal fans.
‘Next year’ finally arrives for overjoyed Chicago Cubs fans
Next year has finally arrived for long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans.
At exactly 11:47 p.m. local time Wednesday, the Cubs won the World Series title that had eluded them for 108 years.
As the game ended, the roar from inside the bars and the throng of fans on the streets was deafening, before the crowds both inside and out sang “go Cubs go” at the top of their lungs.
Thousands poured into the neighborhood around the ball park to celebrate in the shadows of the statues of Cubs greats Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo and legendary announcer Harry Caray.
Fans hugged each other, many of them crying.