CHICAGO – It wasn’t almost this day. Rajai Davis, Mother Nature, and an unrelenting opponent almost pushed the moment to the next day.
For once in their tortured history, however, the Cubs didn’t let this chance get away from them.
Around 11:47 PM, November 2, 2016, Mike Montgomery went into his delivery to Michael Martinez. The utility player hit the slow roller to the left side of the infield towards the charging Kris Bryant. He gloved the ball and quickly threw to first, even as his pivot foot slipped on the wet grass.
The throw sailed just a little bit, but Anthony Rizzo had plenty of arm to stick up his arm and snag the ball for the final out.
Cubs 8, Indians 7.
Game 7 over, World Series over, one team left standing at the end. In one day, one game, and a five-second play just before midnight, a fan base was sent into a frenzy and a franchise shed a familiar mantra.
Not on November 2, 2016. These Cubs were winners forever in this moment.
For the first time, fans of the team celebrate the first anniversary of the World Series championship on Thursday. It comes just a day removed from the team officially losing their status as defending champs to the Houston Astros, who won their own Game 7 on the road against the Dodgers Wednesday night.
Yet the game – and it’s collection of epic moments – live on in a positive way on this anniversary.
Wonder why Rizzo pulled out the famous “Glass Case of Emotion” line from “Anchorman?” We’ll just look how it went down over the course of four hours and 28 minutes of game time at Progressive Field.
Dexter Fowler’s leadoff homer, building a four-run lead, allowing two runs on a Jon Lester wild pitch that bounced off David Ross’ helmet, then watching the catcher homer the next inning in his final at-bat of his career, Lester’s strong relief, Davis’ two-run homer off Aroldis Chapman, missing a run by inches in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Kipnis’ foul ball that looked gone off the bat.
17-minute rain delay including motivation speech from Jason Heyward.
Kyle Schwarber’s single, Albert Almora’s tag from second, Ben Zobrist’s go-ahead double, Miguel Montero’s insurance run, two quick outs from Carl Edwards Jr, one more RBI from Davis, then finally the moment at 11:47 PM.
If you choose to relive it – as you very well might – watch the condensed version of the highlights below.
Of course, the party started on November 2nd but kept going well into November 3rd. Those who awoke in the morning (or afternoon) got the chance to read the headline 108 years in the making.
Everyone who is a Cubs fans have their memory of that moment when their team finally was the last team standing in Major League Baseball. Before then the anniversary of a World Championship was October 14, 1908, which was almost a depressing one as the title drought stretched on.
Not this time.
November 2, 2016 will be the happiest trivia for any fan of the franchise on the first anniversary and many more to come.