Chicago Cubs fans celebrate NL Central division champs, beat Brewers 5-4

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Chicago Cubs fans are celebrating Friday, having clinched the National League Central division title late Thursday night and then beating the Milwaukee Brewers 5 to 4. (WLS)

Chicago Cubs fans are celebrating Friday, having clinched the National League Central division title late Thursday night and then beating the Milwaukee Brewers 5 to 4 in the 10th inning at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs became the first major league team to clinch their division when St. Louis lost at San Francisco late Thursday night. They had a chance to wrap it up in front of their delirious fans at Wrigley Field, but Scooter Gennett's tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh lifted Milwaukee to a 5-4 win.

A day later, they put together quite a party.

Chicago (94-53) pushed across two runs in the ninth and Montero connected for a leadoff drive in the 10th against Blaine Boyer (2-4). The Cubs poured out of the dugout to mob Montero at home plate, and then pulled on postseason hats and shirts as the crowd of 40,823 cheered wildly.

There were hugs all around before the team gathered for a photo in front of the pitcher's mound with one of the 'W' flags that fly all over the Chicago area after Cubs victories.

"I have goosebumps. It was amazing. It was incredible. I'm happy that I'm here," said Cubs fan Dorothy Sullivan.

It may have been a belated celebration, but it was far from anti-climactic.

"My expectation is they have the talent. They have the squad, the pitching, that, why not a World Series? Why not now?" said fan Jason Proulx.

"We've always believed in them. We've never stopped believing. We've been there this whole season. They've said they can do it, and we've watched them do it," said fan Richie Nichols.

Even after the players left the field, fans stayed in the stands. They watched on the Jumbo Tron as players got their "champagne on" in the clubhouse. But this team known for comebacks came back onto the field for one more moment with the fans.

"I think that these players are great. They love the fans. We love them. I've been a Cubs fan since 1969, and I'm so happy for this game," said Christie Underwood.

"You have authentic people sitting in the stands. You have authentic, real people in the clubhouse. And I think the people of Chicago realize that," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

Aaron Potter went home with a special souvenir: third base, from the unforgettable game.

"We're waiting for some champagne. We're gonna get it a little wet," he said of his prize. "We're just want some dirt on. We're just going to give it a little shower. Yup."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement overnight, congratulating the team on their accomplishment.

"Congratulations to Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, the Ricketts family, the players, and the entire Cubs organization on being the best team in baseball and the first team in either league to clinch their division. This has been an unforgettable season at Wrigley but now that the Cubs have clinched, October can't come soon enough. Let's go Cubs!"


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A group of childhood friends have made a pact: They will see the entire Cubs postseason and hopeful World Series win, together, no matter what.

Jeff Skinner has been going to Cubs games since he was about his son's age, and if this is the year he has a plan to witness history.

"Since I was a little kid we've been dreaming about a Cubs world series. If there's a game six, seven on the road, we're gonna be there no matter what," Skinner said.
Skinner and three friends bought tickets to all possible clinching games on the road for the World Series, since the American League team will have home field advantage.

"We decided to split up the American League teams; one took Toronto, I took Boston, there's Cleveland and Texas," he said.

He's fulfilling his boyhood dream, but imagine telling your wife you just charged $13,000 to your credit card.

If you don't want to spend that kind of money through a third party broker, here's how tickets will work for the first round of playoff games. Fans can register online to be in a lottery from now until Sept. 21. Those who registered will be chosen at random for a chance to buy Cubs tickets and you'll be notified via email.

Season ticket holders like Skinner already know which games they have tickets to. Like so many diehard fans, he and his childhood friends truly believe this will be the year.

"He and I have been going to games since we were little. We'd take the train. It's a dream come true at this point," Skinner said. "We made a pact, when this day comes we're gonna go."


Sports World, a sports retailer, opened early Friday to lay out merchandise featuring the Cubs' latest victory.

"I got my glasses, my jersey, my champ shirt, division hat. I'm ready," said Mike Medina, a lifelong Cubs fan. He woke up early Thursday, hoping to score tickets to the division-clinching home game.

"Just being here and being part of the history. We haven't won division championship in years. Just excited to be here and be part of history," Medina said.

Now the Cubs still have to finish out the regular season.

"I don't know. We're just going to get after it. We don't take these things for granted and this is my last one. So I'm definitely going to enjoy it as much as I can and take it all in," said Cubs catcher David Ross, who is retiring this year.

The Cubs aren't wasting any time. The team released a new ad overnight that shows the "W" flag being flown around the world.

On the highly coveted rooftops above Wrigley Field, tickets come at a premium. But they're still available for the games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ken Maningas, of Wrigley Rooftops, said tickets would cost fans upward of $150.

Eric Sorensen, another avid Cubs fan, wants to be there to see it all. He said if Chicago goes all the way, the celebration will be electric.

"There will be champagne on the field, partying like they do after every win. It will be a giant party, I'm sure," Sorensen said.

PHOTOS: Cubs fans celebrate winning NL Central division title
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
sportsChicago CubsMLBbaseballMilwaukee BrewersSt. Louis CardinalsChicago - Wrigleyville
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