CLEVELAND – In order to remember the last time a day like today, November 2, 2016, came about with this franchise, you have to be at least 71 years old.
In order to have seen two, you have to be a lot older than that.
On Wednesday the Cubs will play a game to clinch a World Series title for just the fourth time in team history. Thanks to a win last night in Game 6 of the World Series over the Indians, the Cubs have a chance to win their first Fall Classic since 1908 with a victory at Progressive Field.
The last time that happened, October, 14 1908, is one of the previous three days in which the Cubs just had the opportunity to win the World Series. Despite competing in ten previous World Series, the Cubs only had a shot to win it three times.
The first came the year before the last championship in the exact same place – Bennett Park in Detroit. After a win in Game 4 the Cubs had a the shot to capture the title on October 12, 1907 and did just that with a 2-0 triumph. In 1908 the Cubs repeated the same result, this time defeating Detroit 2-0 in a thrift 1 hour and 25 minutes to win back-to-back championships.
Oddly enough, the 6,210 people who watched that 1908 game remains the smallest crowd in World Series history.
The Cubs have had one letdown when it comes to a potential World Series clinching win. That came in their one and only Game 7 in the World Series before tonight on October 10, 1945. On that day at Wrigley Field the Tigers scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back in a 9-3 win that brought the World Championship to Detroit.
Seventy-one years later, the Cubs finally get a chance to clinch a championship again.
Game 7 history doesn’t traditionally favor the Cubs and recently their status as the road team doesn’t help, either.
Tonight will be the 38th Game 7 in World Series history, though four of those games didn’t decide the champion since they were held in nine-game Fall Classics.
Recently the advantage has belonged to the home team, with nine of the last ten hosts winning Game 7 and the championship. The exception, however, is the last winner of a deciding game in the World Series in 2014.
The Giants went on the road and beat the Royals 3-2 for their third title in five years.
RUSSELL THE RECORD MAN
When he breaks through, he does so big time.
In fact, Addison Russell’s best game of the 2016 playoffs was record-breaking when it comes to the World Series.
On Tuesday night in Game 6 the shortstop tied a World Series record by driving in six runs in the Cubs’ 9-3 victory. That total tied the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols (2011, Game 3), Yankees’ Hideki Matsui (2009, Game 6), and Bobby Richardson (1960, Game 3) for the most in a single Fall Classic game.
Part of that game was Russell’s grand slam in the third inning, which was historic in itself. The blast to left field was the first Grand Slam hit in the World Series in team history and just the third in postseason play for the team. Miguel Montero hit one in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series earlier this season while Aramis Ramirez knocked one out against the Marlins in Game 4 of the 2003 NLCS.
His Grand Slam also had a Chicago connection for it was the first hit in the World Series since Paul Konerko’s iconic shot in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series with the White Sox at US Cellular Field.