The longest title drought in US sports history is over after the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in extra innings to win their first World Series since 1908.
With the win, the Cubs clinched an epic fairytale finish having trailed 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.
For the Indians, it was more heartbreak after falling one victory short of their first Major League Baseball title in 68 years.
The moment the Curse of the Billy Goat ended:
— MLB (@MLB) November 3, 2016
Lovable losers for generations, the Cubs nearly let this one get away, too.
All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman blew a three-run lead with two outs in the eighth when Rajai Davis hit a tying homer.
But the Cubs, after tormenting their fans one more time, came right back after a 17-minute rain delay before the top of the 10th.
Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double and Miguel Montero singled home a run to make it 8-6. Davis delivered an RBI single with two outs in the bottom half, but Mike Montgomery closed it out at 12:47 am, and the celebration was on.
Among their fans – Chicago’s own President Barack Obama, who tweeted “Even this White Sox fan was happy to see Wrigley rocking last night”.
He then invited the team to the White House, although they’ll have to make fast arrangements if they’re to visit before he leaves office in mid–January.
It happened: @Cubs win World Series. That's change even this South Sider can believe in. Want to come to the White House before I leave?
— President Obama (@POTUS) November 3, 2016
“I think about so many millions of people giving so much love and support to this team for so many years,” said owner Tom Ricketts, whose family bought the team in 2009.
“It happened. It happened. Chicago, it happened,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said after gloving the ball for the final out. “We did it. We’re world champions. I tell ya, we’re world champions. I can’t believe it.”
Manager Joe Maddon’s team halted the longest title drought in baseball, becoming the first club to overcome a 3-1 series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
Cleveland was trying to win its first crown since 1948, but lost the last two games at home.
World Series favourites since spring training, Chicago led the majors with 103 wins this season. The Cubs then ended more than a century of misery for their loyal fans.
— Matt Trevithick (@M_Trevithick) November 3, 2016
Zobrist was chosen as the World Series MVP, a year after he helped the Royals win the championship. Zobrist was among the players brought to the Cubs by Theo Epstein, the baseball guru who added another crown to his collection. He also assembled the Red Sox team that broke Boston’s 86-year drought with the 2004 championship.
From Curse of the Bambino to the Billy Goat Curse, he ended another jinx.
While Cubs fans hugged with delight, there was only despair for the Indians, who now have gone longer than anyone without a crown. In the Indians’ previous World Series appearance, they were a double-play grounder from winning the 1997 title before losing game seven in 11 innings to the Marlins.
Twenty-one other teams had won the World Series since Cubs last were champions. They reached the top again on the 39,466th day after Orval Overall’s three-hit shutout won the 1908 finale at Detroit in a game that took 1:24.
At the time, Theodore Roosevelt was president, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii were not yet states, and the first Ford Model T car was two weeks old.