WRIGLEY FIELD — The Cubs' 108-year wait is finally over after they won Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night in Cleveland, 8-7 in 10 innings.
The Cubs were four outs away from their first world championship since 1908 before Cleveland rallied for three runs in the eighth inning. But the Cubs, after a short rain delay, scored two runs in the 10th inning on their way to the win.
Around Wrigley Field, thousands of ecstatic fans crammed the area near the stadium's marquee, and multiple streets are closed near the ballpark.
Another guy fell off the lightpole and EMS was called pic.twitter.com/OW0lazuYEk— Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) November 3, 2016
PLEASE CELEBRATE RESPONSIBLY! DO NOT OVERCROWD.— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) November 3, 2016
CONGRATULATIONS CHICAGO CUBS. THIS WAS THE YEAR!
Those streets include: Racine, Grace, Wilton, Addison, Sheffield, Newport, Southport, Irving Park, Broadway and Belmont.
In a statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “From Opening Day in April to a historic November night, the Cubs championship season united the city of Chicago and fans around the world behind this incredible team. The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series is about more than a game, more than a team, and more than a sport. It is about the families who have passed down a love for the Cubs from mothers and fathers to their sons and daughters, and from grandparents to grandchildren. It is about generations who have come together around radios, televisions, and within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field to root for the home team and share triumphs and defeats. Cubs fans have never given up hope that this day was possible, and this young team made it happen. Congratulations to the Ricketts family, Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, and the players, staff, and fans who together broke the longest drought in professional sports and made history this year. Go Cubs go!”
Dexter Fowler's leadoff home run gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and the Indians tied it in the third.
The Cubs scored two runs in the fourth inning to regain the lead, then added another run in the fifth inning. The Indians scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Cubs scored another run in the sixth. The Indians stormed back with three runs in the eighth.
The Cubs trailed the World Series three games to one, but won Game 5 on Sunday and Game 6 on Tuesday night to tie the series.
The last team to overcome a 3-1 World Series deficit was the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
The Indians' last championship was in 1948.
The Cubs were last in the World Series in 1945, when they won Game 6 to force a Game 7, but lost that winner-take-all game to the Detroit Tigers.
More honking in Logan pic.twitter.com/n1uSGcQk8o— Mina Bloom (@mina_bloom_) November 3, 2016
Several buses also were being rerouted.
77 Belmont buses temp. rerouted EB: Belmont, Ashland, Diversey, LSD, and Belmont; WB: Belmont, Broadway, Diversey, and Belmont.— cta (@cta) November 3, 2016
Revised: 22 Clark buses temp. rerted SB: Clark, Irving Park, Damen, Diversey, and Clark; NB: Clark, Broadway, Montrose, and Clark.— cta (@cta) November 3, 2016
The tension was palpable in Wrigleyville bars on Wednesday night.
Old Crow Smokehouse fell silent as the Indians scored a run and the Cubs couldn’t land on a base for the first innings after Fowler’s home run. All that changed when Kris Bryant slid into home, sending Cubs fans into near euphoria. And as the score climbed to 5-1 in the fifth inning, crowds could hardly contain their joy.
Fowler’s leadoff home run “set the tone for the rest of the night,” said Natalia Masiewicz, who came to Wrigleyville from Wicker Park to watch Game 7. While she doesn’t want to jinx it for the Cubs, “They’re very capable, and I have faith,” Masiewicz said. “I can feel it.”
As the Cubs kept their lead, the 32-year-old lifelong Chicagoan perched as close as possible to the massive screen at Old Crow Smokehouse, watching every pitch intently. Masiewicz admitted she was “kind of scared” of seeing the “absolute madness” she expected to explode in Wrigleyville streets if the Cubs won it all.
At the same time, “it’s amazing to see the city come together for the team,” she said. “With everything happening in the world, it’s nice to have that feeling of community."
Fans crowded outside bars on Clark Street. Some huddled under umbrellas. Others stood on the sidewalk soaked in their Cubs T-shirts and baseball caps. While most bars welcomed the pavement audience, others weren't so friendly.
During the third inning, Nola Gastropub, 3481 N. Clark St., pulled down its blinds, blocking a view of its televisions inside. Fans booed and jeered, "Raise the blinds! Raise the blinds!"
Many fans stayed outside the bar to catch glimpses of the game through the semitransparent window coverings.
"I find it pointless," said James Remigo, 25, of Logan Square. "First of all, we're faithful Cubs fans, and we're going to stay here to the end. The bar showed no professionalism."
Not only will hundreds of uniformed and undercover officers be in Wrigleyville, but the department will have "additional police resources" in Bucktown, Rush Street and other entertainment districts across Chicago, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said Wednesday.
"If anything, we're overprepared," Tunney said, pointing to Homeland Security and FBI involvement in the planning.
Some Wrigleyville bars planned to charge a cover, expecting crowds akin to weekend home games, when tens of thousands of people poured into the neighborhood. Massive bar lines have stretched around the block, while a clamp-down on occupancy limits pushed many taverns to implement covers or other means of restricting overcrowding.
Two hours before the final game of the World Series was set to begin at 7:08 p.m., several Wrigleyville bars were already at capacity, with some charging covers of $50 or $100 to get in.
A.J. Pilarski watched the Cubs' Game 6 victory from his home in South Bend. By 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, he made it to the marquee outside Wrigley Field.
"I'm here to absorb the atmosphere," said Pilarski, 60. "I didn't want to miss this."
As luck would have it, his son, 32-year-old Jeff Pilarski, ended up having an extra day of business to take care of in Chicago. The father and son planned to meet somewhere near Wrigley Field before game time.
"We're going to hopefully celebrate a Cubs victory," Pilarski said.
Gretchen Gscheidle has broken bones for the Chicago Cubs.
At the team's May 5 matchup against the Washington Nationals, the season ticket holder stuck her glove hand out to catch her 15th foul ball. The ball hit her glove, but Gscheidle, 47, dropped it. Angry at her error, she slammed her glove hand on the railing.
"I broke my fifth metacarpal," she said. Gscheidle's friends chuckled when they saw her in a cast and guessed: "Was it a Cubs thing?"
On Wednesday, an hour before game time, Gscheidle stopped by the Wrigley Field marquee on her way home from grocery-shopping. She wanted to snap a picture to document the energy before Game 7.
"This eclipses everything," she said. "So far."
More than 1,000 officers pooled from multiple city, state and federal agencies were on hand when the Cubs clinched the National League pennant on Oct. 22. About 300,000 people were in Wrigleyville that night, although the home game drew some 40,000 people with tickets into Wrigley Field.
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