Two Bethel students reflect on the Chicago Cubs World Series victory after a 108 year drought.
Nate Okonek | Sports Reporter
Tensions were high. Junior Cody Albrecht felt overcome by nerves as he watched Game 7 of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. A native of Antioch, Ill., Albrecht sat in the Old Chicago off Snelling Avenue surrounded by a group of rabid Indians fans. Rajai Davis, the center fielder for the Indians, had just hit an electrifying home run to left field on a 2-2 count off the hard throwing Cubs closer, Aroldis Chapman, tying the game 6-6 in the bottom of the 8th inning.
“I was just getting heckled left and right,” Albrecht said. “My heart dropped and all I could hear from the Indians fans were ‘108 more years’ and ‘the Cubs will never win,’ my greatest fears were playing out.”
After a scoreless 9th inning, rain broke out at Progressive Field, causing a 17 minute rain delay prior to the 10th inning. Albrecht had to leave the restaurant to bring his friend back to campus for his intramural basketball game. Driving back in his red Toyota Tacoma, he turned the radio on in hopes of not missing any of the action. When Albrecht arrived home, he turned the game on and FaceTimed his dad, just in time to witness history. Chicago had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the tenth inning over Cleveland. Only three outs stood in the Cubs way of overcoming a 3-1 deficit and winning the World Series, something they haven’t done since 1908.
Cleveland, who hadn’t won a World Series since 1948, made sure to add to the already drama filled night. The 8th inning home run hero Rajai Davis struck again, with an RBI single up the middle, bringing the Indians within one and the crowd to their feet. With Davis on 1st base, two outs and the World Series on the line, Indians right fielder Michael Martinez stepped up to the plate. With a 1-0 count to Martinez, he hit a dribbler to third baseman Kris Bryant, just to the left of the pitchers mound. Bryant, calmly collected the ground ball and fired it over to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who’s arms lifted instantly.
After 108 years, the Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions.
Junior David Cushing, originally from Park Ridge, Ill., sat alone in his Heritage dorm room wearing his “lucky” Cubs underwear. As his hometown team celebrated on the television in front of him, he was overcome with emotions.
“I was absolutely speechless,” Cushing said. “I looked to God, I looked straight up and started crying”
Many important historical events have occurred since the Chicago Cubs last World Series Championship in 1908. Man had landed on the moon, both radio and TV were invented, the Titanic was built, set sail, sank and was re-discovered. This Game 7 win for the Cubs meant more than just a World Series win to Cushing and Albrecht. This victory represented everything about the city of Chicago and the fans who have stuck by this team.
“It wasn’t just happiness, it was so many emotions,” Cushing said. “It was relief for those Cubs fans that went through their whole life without a Cubs championship.”
“It’s not a feeling I can really describe, it was unbelievable,” Albrecht said. “It was something that you would think would never happen.”
The Chicago Cubs pitchers and catchers will report to Mesa, Arizona for Spring Training on February 19, and the rest of the team will join them five days later. However, this upcoming season for the Cubs and their fans will be a bit different. A new banner will be hung at Wrigley Field, and the smell of a championship will linger down 1060 W Addison Street. The Chicago Cubs will start the 2017 campaign as World Champions, which may be an adjustment for some.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” Cushing joked. “[The Cubs] won the World Series, it’s something I didn’t even think that was a possibility growing up.”