WRIGLEY FIELD — After two rain-deluged hours, the Chicago Cubs enjoyed a moment of glory, raising banners Monday night to celebrate the team's first championship in 108 years.
Scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m., the delayed pre-game ceremony began around 8:10 p.m. and ended with the raising of three World Series championship banners for 1907, 1908 and 2016 and the Cubs' 2016 National League pennant.
For fans, it was a long-awaited moment to cap off the 2016 victory and look ahead to a successful 2017 season.
"One thing they do at the end of a battle is raise a flag," said Daniel Lee, 33, who stood outside the Wrigley Field bleachers at Waveland and Sheffield avenues to watch the banner raising. "At the end of each game, hopefully we're raising the W flag, but a banner is more like a medal of honor."
Team members looked on as Cubs officials hoisted the banners, which were somewhat tangled initially but unfurled in the chilly night wind.
The banner raising was scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m. followed by the Cubs home opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rain poured for about 30 minutes but cleared around 7:45 p.m. Soon after, the Wrigley Field grounds crew began to remove the ball field tarp.
Earlier, the team opened the Park at Wrigley, a new plaza for fans to enjoy during the game. The park will also host events for the community on non-game days.
The warm, sunny weather lasted until a series of strong downpours in the afternoon. By 6 p.m., skies cleared briefly but Wrigleyville cooled considerably.
In the end, the Cubs were victorious: Anthony Rizzo hit a post-midnight walkoff single to beat the Dodgers 3-2.
"I'll remember this day for as long as I play baseball," Rizzo told reporters. "That pregame ceremony, the Cubs did an amazing job. Videos, the tribute. It was amazing."
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.