2016 was a big year for politics and public health. Britain voted to leave the European Union, Trump won the U.S. election, and Zika virus made world news.
But 2016 was also a very important year in the world of sports. Game 7 in the 2016 World Series forever changed the perception of baseball, but more specifically, the Chicago Cubs.
Wrigley Field in Chicago had played host to Cubs games throughout the 20th century. However, the team had never pulled off a World Series win. Many fans even believed the team was cursed. 1908 was the last time the team snagged a World Series win.
The setting was Chicago versus Cleveland. The Cubs held a shocking lead at the bottom of the eighth inning, but the Cleveland Indians came back swinging and tied up the game through to the end of the ninth. As if sensing the uproar from fans watching the game, Mother Nature opened up with a huge rainstorm between the ninth and tenth innings. Play was temporarily suspended for a few minutes, as the storm raged, but quickly resumed.
On-field reporter Luke Stuckmeyer said, “It was the greatest roller-coaster ride ever. You were up, you were down… it was either going to be the greatest win in Chicago sports history, or the biggest bust ever.”
After the rainy break, two runs and an R.B.I were all it took to cement the Cubs’ historic victory.
“Theirs is now a history of winning, and their identity changes forever,” noted the New York Times. Fans in Chicago and around the country celebrated riotously. The MLB’s summary of the full game reads like a suspense novel, and even the Indians fans had to grudgingly respect the unexpected and long-awaited victory.
Generations of Cubs fans were finally vindicated. Not only had the curse been broken, but the entire mood of baseball shifted. Now, the tables have turned and it is the Cleveland Indians who hold the record for longest drought in the World Series.