The roster is filled with names you never heard of: Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber, Russell, Arrieta, and despite some relatively recent playoff appearances in 2008, 2007 and 2003, the buzz is different this year.
"I think in '08, '03, we were lucky to be there," says Shelley Gilbert, a Cubs fan. "This year we deserve it, especially the back half play."
There seems to be some alchemy going on: the unexpected talent of pitching ace Jake Arrieta and the unexpected combination of young players having a great time resulting in the unexpected record of winning 97 games.
"It's not a science, it's an art and this comes out as a masterpiece," says ESPN Senior Writer Lester Munson.
Munson says the final stroke on the masterpiece is manager Joe Maddon, a leader who understands the technology of the game will still bringing a level of fun and eccentricity.
"He brought animals, a zoo to the ball park," Munson says. "He had ball players wear pajamas on an overnight flight, he brought a magician, then they won nine games in a row."
This is a team fans believe can make this city move beyond the goat.
"It's just a magical season," Gilbert says.
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