David Hein is an international basketball and sports writer/reporter based in Regensburg, Germany, and a featured columnist with FIBA basketball (among other outlets) and owns/operates heinnews. An Illinois native and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, David will be chronicling his 7,000 mile journey from Germany to the World Series, one game at a time. Connect with David Hein on Twitter.
Living room in suburban St. Charles, November 3 – They did it! They did it! The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series! They are World Series champs for the first time since 1908.It’s so amazing and a huge relief and provokes nothing but joy. Now I know what it’s like to have my favorite team – the only team I really support – be a real champion! No more wait until next year. No more lovable losers. No more talk of 1908 or 1945. No more curses. The Cubs are champions. And I can imagine that tens of thousands of elderly will now say they can now die in peace.
What a game! And right off the bat with Dexter Fowler homering to dead center to lead off the game – even before my brother’s family had made it back home as the game started 8 minutes before originally scheduled to start because of rain due to make it into Cleveland later in the evening.
It was great to see the Cubs get to Corey Kluber right away and Kyle Hendricks did a good job dealing with the Indians hitters. Cleveland did knot the game at 1-1 but the Cubs picked up two runs in the 4th and 5th to go up 5-1. After the Indians pulled two back, Grandpa Ross nailed a home run as the oldest player to homer in a World Series Game 7 to make it 6-3. This game was a real emotional roller coaster and one of the gut-wrenching moments came in the bottom of the 8th. Four outs from the title, Aroldis Chapman gave up three runs including Rajai Davis’s huge two-run home run to tie the game – which left the household in total doubt.
Even I was starting to doubt it. I had been the calming force in the house – once again coloring in a pattern book.
And then after neither team could score in the ninth, the game was heading to extra innings – oh but wait … a rain delay! This was getting to be too much!
We had to break out the kids’ Halloween candy to calm the nerves and excitement. Luckily the delay wasn’t too long. And then Ben Zobrist – who won the World Series last season with the Kansas City Royals – doubles in the go-ahead run before Miguel Montero’s RBI single for another run.
The bottom of the 10th was nerve-racking as well – giving up one run before Kris Bryant threw over to Anthony Rizzo to finish it off!
Then started the free for all at the house – screaming, dancing, hugging, running around. It was wonderful to take this in with my family and we then just watched one interview after the next – just trying to let it sit in more and more. They did it! All those years of having to wait were over. People reading this might be wondering why I didn’t go downtown to Wrigleyville to experience this. I am not the biggest fans of big crowds and I knew I would be flying back to Germany on November 3. But I wanted to see how the suburbanites celebrate. Earlier in the day I had learned that Dick’s Sporting Goods store would be opening after the game to sell World Series gear.
Just for shits and giggles we headed out there at about 12:30 am. And I figured there would be a decent amount of people but there were at least a thousand people already lined up to get into the store. The line went about the length of four American football fields. There were loads of cars driving by the crowd playing Go Cubs Go – including one police car. There were four police units on hand to monitor the gathering. The people who walked out of the store had arrived 5 minutes after the game ended and were shocked to see the long line. And the people waiting just outside to get in had already been waiting about 40 minutes.
There were long lines at the cashiers in the store and there were still people flooding into the parking lot after we left – not having waited in line but just to see what it was like. A number of the people turned back after seeing how long the line was and said “Oh, I’ll just buy something online.” Sure this was people waiting to get into a store but it was also a kind of party for people out in the suburbs – horns honking, music playing and people screaming Go Cubs!
The wait for Cubs fans is over. All those years we said In Theo We Trust – knowing Theo Epstein’s plan would eventually produce a champion. Pat Hughes’ call of the final out on 670am radio was perfect, saying the Cubs players were jumping around celebrating like “delirious 10-year-olds”. Perfect.
This is the penultimate post in this chronicle of my journey from Germany to Chicago for the Cubs World Series. The last one will wrap it all up. It will be a bit until that one comes out. I am starting my journey back to Germany shortly and along the way I will take it all in and figure it out what it means. Until then … they did it! Go Cubs!