WRIGLEYVILLE — The Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series!!!
For the first time since 1945 — 71 years if you're counting — the Cubs are heading to the Fall Classic after a 5-0 victory over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win in front of a bedlam crowd at Wrigley Field gave the Cubs a 4-2 NLCS triumph.
Cubs win!!!! pic.twitter.com/WdJRtnGh3W— Patty Wetli (@Pattydnachicago) October 23, 2016
"It's gonna be a huge party, and I'm just glad to be a part of it," said Kirk Sells, 31, outside Wrigley Field.
Jon Lester and Javier Baez were named the NLCS co-MVPs.
Bill Murray sums up the feels tonight in Chicago https://t.co/qStXhDja5e— Keith Conrad (@keithrconrad) October 23, 2016
In the past seven-plus decades, the Cubs had lost six previous chances to clinch the National League title — three times in 1984 against the Padres, and another three in 2003 against the Marlins.
The Cubs' championship series appearance drought had been the longest in any of the four major professional sports: baseball, football, basketball and hockey. They won three straight against the Dodgers after trailing 2-1 in the series.
Lincoln Square cheers Cubs run! pic.twitter.com/KOZrT7Cj9U— Patty Wetli (@Pattydnachicago) October 23, 2016
The American League-champion Indians await in the World Series, which begins Tuesday night in Cleveland. The Indians claimed their last World Series title in 1948. Only one player is still alive from that team.
"I am pumped. We're going to whoop the s--- out of the Indians," Kyle Cooke said from near the ballpark.
"It's not over yet. I'm greedy, I want it all," said lifelong fan Anthony Sigelko.
Charlie Vinopal and Shane Sweeney had been hanging out on Clark but couldn't get into any bars.
"This is the epicenter of it all. It's the first time for everyone," Sweeney said. "I can't describe it. It hasn't sunk in yet."
Said Vinopal, who was talking to family members on the phone in New York: "We've never seen this in our lives. It's uncharted territory. It was ethereal. It was an out-of-body experience."
Very few people on the planet are still alive who were here in 1908, the last time the Cubs won a World Series. They lost in seven games to the Detroit Tigers in the 1945 World Series.
The Cubs had never won an NLCS, losing in 1984, 1989, 2003 and last year.
Saturday, the Cubs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. It was a party atmosphere inside and outside of Wrigley the rest of the way.
"Incredible. Absolutely incredible," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "The Chicago Cubs are National League champions. Across Chicago and around the world generations of Cubs fans, from the very young to the very, very old, are celebrating tonight. Rightfully so. We are witnessing history right before our eyes. Wrigley was rocking all night, and our Cubs just won the pennant. So fly the W Chicago, the fun continues in Cleveland on Tuesday night. Go Cubs!"
Some fans spent more than two hours in line at the packed-to-capacity bars, but didn’t mind the wait.
“We knew what we were getting into,” said Dani Theis, who moved to Chicago a few months ago and quickly became a Cubs fan, won over by the “passion of the city."
Theis said she had friends visiting from Georgia and Indianapolis — no distance too great to see the Cubs clinch a seat in the World Series at Wrigley Field.
Terone Neal, 23, brought a celebratory cigar with him from Oak Park — just in case.
“I just had a good feeling we were going to get a win tonight,” Neal said. “Tonight is a life-changing event. It’s surreal."
Over the past few seasons, Cubs fans like Neal said they noticed a definite shift in the team dynamics.
“They’re a different team, they’re more ambitious and they’ve got such drive," Neal said.
As for the Cleveland Indians?
“We’re gonna beat them,” Neal said. “They suck."
Eddie and Cusack pumped (Via Fox Sports 1) pic.twitter.com/a1DBblfafh— Justin Breen (@dnainfo_breen) October 23, 2016
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here.