World Series 2016: Chicago Cubs score 1st title since 1908; parade will be held Friday

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After more than a century, the Chicago Cubs are World Series champions. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said a celebratory parade will be held for the team Friday.

The parade will leave Wrigley Field at approximately 10 a.m. and travel downtown for a rally at noon. ABC7's coverage of the celebration will begin at 9 a.m.

The Cubs will leave Wrigley Field at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., the parade will proceed along Michigan Avenue between Oak and Ohio Streets and then along Columbus Drive between Monroe Street and Balbo Avenue.

The parade will be followed by a rally at Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park at noon, the city said. The celebration is free and open to the public.

"We are going to have a parade in Chicago that will stand the test of time. It will be a parade that 108 years have waited for," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a press conference.

Fans are encouraged to watch the parade on Addison from Sheffield to Pine Grove, on North Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Ohio Street, Columbus Drive from Monroe Street to Balbo Avenue.

The rally is open to the public, but all attendees must pass through security screening at the entrance at Michigan and Congress Parkway. Closed water bottles will be allowed and there will be food vendors on site.

Street closures in the area are expected to begin as early as 4 a.m., the city said. Fans are encouraged to take public transportation.

Richard Gracia plans to get to Hutchinson Field at 5 a.m.

"I think it's going to be just magical. It's going to be great. I can't wait. That's why I've got to be in the front," he said.

The CTA will add addition service for the parade, and are strongly encouraging riders to allow extra travel time. Extra service will be provided following the morning rush through midday on the Red, Blue, Brown, Green, Pink and Orange lines. CTA warned that multiple bus routes will be detoured in the downtown area as a result of street closures for the celebration and its set up and break-down.

Metra will add extra train service and capacity for fans who want to attend the parade and rally, though officials said they expect trains to reach capacity on all lines. Metra will over a one-day $5 unlimited ride ticket for the celebrating and encouraged riders to purchase it in advance. The $5 ticket will go on sale Thursday afternoon at all ticket windows and through the Ventra app.

The North Parking Garage at Soldier Field will also offer a reduced rate of $15 (from $22) for up to eight hours on Friday for those driving to the celebration. The North Garage opens at 6 a.m. and with its location in Museum Campus is in easy walking distance to the rally site.

Chopper 7 HD flew over Grant Park Thursday morning, where semis were stationed to set up for the rally. Championship banners were hung in the downtown area Thursday.

Kris Bryant will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday, Nov. 7, to talk about his World Series experience.

The boys are back! The Chicago Cubs returned to Wrigley Field as World Series champions early Thursday morning, hours after accomplishing a feat millions of fans waited a lifetime to see.

The champs rolled into town with a shiny new trophy early Thursday morning. As Anthony Rizzo hoisted it above his head, the crowd went wild.

"You think of the Stanley Cup as bring a trophy you can follow around and maybe get a glimpse of. But to see the World Series trophy in person, it's unlike anything," said Jim Leo, a Cubs fan.

About 100 die-hard, bleary-eyed fans gathered on West Waveland Avenue near Gate K to watch the boys come home. One after another they got off the buses with their families - tired, but victorious.

"It's crazy that almost to have a common goal to get to the World Series first - one in 108 years - and we finally got that goal. I feel kind of selfish to experience that in the 25 years of my age," said Ben Klein, a Cubs fan.

Cubs nation embraced it all Thursday, the years of agony and the joy of winning, remembering those who didn't live long enough to see and stopping by to mark the moment.

"It's an incredible feeling to come to this stadium for years and watch these guys finally do it. It was such a great game," said Amick Viccellio, a Cubs fan.

"It's definitely exciting. It's so fun to be a part of this. To have our children be so young and not have to wait so long is really fun," said Michelle Becker, a Cubs fan.

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History has been rewritten. Just like a fairy tale, the curse - if there ever was one - has been broken.


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He did it first in 2004 and again in 2016. Theo Epstein is baseball's curse-breaker.

Theo Epstein was first spotted in Chicago five years ago at a Lincoln Park Starbucks and in the years since he has never looked back. Epstein was brought in to fix a broken ball team and kill another curse. He had a plan, and he stuck to it.

"This already feels like a dream. Go out and build a foundation for success and the one day go out and do what hasn't been done in 103 years, sounds great to me," Epstein said back in 2011.

Five years later, his dream is now reality.

"Took a group of unbelievable men, connected with one another, never quitting. Everyone's prone to hyperbole on nights like tonight, but is kind of epic, right?" he said on the field after the Cubs won Wednesday night.

Striking out the Bambino and the goat, the Yale-educated Boston native did the impossible twice. In 2004, he led the Red Sox their first World Series title in 86, and now the Cubs. Sportswriters said Epstein's success beings with hard work.

"It's like a war room when he is running the team. He doesn't leave at two to golf like other general managers of teams do, he is there morning, noon and night," said Lester Munson of

Musnon said Epstein has mastered what it takes to build a roster. Using analytics and scouts, he locates and signs players from the draft and Latin America.

"It is not an accident that Theo Epstein has brought these guys together. He studied what they can do on the field, background and character, and came up with this team," Munson said.

Epistein is one of the rare baseball executives who will no doubt make the Hall of Fame.


Unfamiliar with the curse? Here's a quick explainer. Billy Sianis' goat was denied entry to Game 4 of the 1945 World Series. Sianis said the Cubs would never again win a World Series, creating the "Curse of the Billy Goat."

Fans who frequent the Billy Goat Tavern breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday night, after the Cubs won the World Series.

"It's just kind of unreal. You don't really expect it to happen, so you're wondering, 'What's next?' We expected to come home and have the Sears Tower fall over or something," said Darius Alexander, a Cubs fan.

John Ehlinger, another Cubs fan, said now that the curse has been broken, he's going to sit back and enjoy it!


How amazing would it be if Harry Caray was alive to call the last out in Game 7? No need to imagine it. Check out the video below. We're not crying. You're crying.

Budweiser said the company worked with the Caray family estate to put this piece of magic together.


Kris Bryant started to smile even before he fielded the ball. And with his throw to first for the final out, the agonizing wait 'til next year was over at last.

No more Billy Goat, no more Bartman, no more black-cat curses.

For a legion of fans who waited a lifetime, fly that W: Your Chicago Cubs are World Series champions.

Ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration, the Cubs won their first title since 1908, outlasting the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings of a Game 7 thriller early Thursday.

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They even had to endure an extra-inning rain delay to end the drought.

"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."

Rizzo put that final ball in his pocket as the Cubs piled up in the middle of the diamond, David Ross got carried off the field by his teammates and Bill Murray partied in the clubhouse.

And the whole time, blue-clad fans who traveled from Wrigley Field filled nearly the entire lower deck behind the Chicago dugout at Progressive Field, singing "Go, Cubs, Go!" in rain. They held up those white flags with the large blue "W'' on a night many of their forebears had waited for in vain.

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Lovable losers for generations, the Cubs nearly let this one get away, too. All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman blew a 6-3 lead with two outs in the eighth when Rajai Davis hit a tying, two-run homer.

Download a memento photo of the Wrigley Field marquee

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.

Series MVP 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 a.m., and the celebration was on.

"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, who family bought the team in 2009.

Manager Joe Maddon's team halted the longest stretch without a title in baseball, becoming the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.

"This is an epic game. It's epic. I can't believe we were able to do it - 108 years in the making," Zobrist said. "We did it."

"They never quit, either," Zobrist said. "They kept coming at us."

Cleveland was trying to win its first crown since 1948, but manager Terry Francona's club lost the last two games at home.

World Series favorites 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 - barely. Bryant, one of Chicago's young stars, began to celebrate even before fielding a grounder by Michael Martinez to third base and throwing it across to Rizzo for the last out.

"It's the best rain delay of all-time," Rizzo said.

Zobrist got a Series-high 10 hits, 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 by winning in 2004.

From Curse of the Bambino to the Billy Goat Curse, he ended another jinx.

"We don't need a plane to fly home," Epstein said. "It's fitting it's got to be done with one of the best games of all time."

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward had called a meeting during the rain delay, talking to his teammates in the weight room.

"I just had to remind everybody who we are, what we've overcome to get here," he said.

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 7 in 11 innings to the Marlins.

"It's going to hurt. It hurts because we care, but they need to walk with their head held high because they left nothing on the field," Francona said.

Earlier this year, LeBron James and the Cavaliers ended Cleveland's 52-year championship drought by overcoming a 3-1 deficit to beat Golden State for the NBA title. James and teammates were in a suite, rooting hard, as the Indians absorbed the same blow as the Warriors.

After defeating San Francisco and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs, Chicago became the first team to earn a title by winning Games 6 and 7 on the road since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.

Dexter Fowler homered on Corey Kluber's fourth pitch of the game, 23-year-old Javier Baez and the 39-year-old Ross - set to now retire - also went deep for the Cubs, who led 5-1 in the fifth inning and 6-3 in the eighth.

Chapman wound up with the win, and Montgomery got one out for his first save in the majors.

Bryan Shaw, who gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Schwarber in the 10th, took the loss in just the fourth Game 7 that went to extra innings.

Albert Almora Jr., pinch-running for Schwarber, alertly took second on Bryant's long fly to center. Rizzo was intentionally walked, and Zobrist slapped an opposite-field double past a diving third baseman Jose Ramirez. Montero singled to make it a two-run lead.

Then in the bottom half, Carl Edwards Jr. struck out Mike Napoli, Ramirez grounded out, Brandon Guyer walked and Davis hit an RBI single. Montgomery took over, and helped set off a wild celebration on Chicago's North Side.

Even a dedicated White Sox fan could appreciate the victory.

"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 Barack Obama tweeted.

Chicago Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz and the Wirtz family congratulated the Cubs in this statement Thursday:

"On behalf of our family and organization, congratulations to the Ricketts family and the Chicago Cubs for an incredible season and for winning the World Series. The unwavering loyalty of Chicago sports fans has been rewarded once again with yet another team being crowned world champions. Well done."

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 hour, 24 minutes - this latest Game 7 lasted 4:24, not including the rain delay.

Back then, 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.

The Cubs were last champions when Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance won consecutive titles in 1907-08, until now the only ones in team history. The Cubbies had not even reached the Series since 1945.

This one was for Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo and Billy Williams, who never reached the postseason.

For Gabby Hartnett, Ryne Sandberg and Greg Maddux, whose October runs fell short.

For Lee Elia and the "nickle-dime people" who spent so many wind-swept afternoons in the Friendly Confines watching loss after loss.

For Bill Veeck, who planted ivy vines against Wrigley Field's outfield walls.

For William Sianis, the Billy Goat Tavern owner said to have proclaimed when he was asked to leave Wrigley with his pet during the '45 Series: "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more."

For Steve Bartman, whose life was upended when he tried to catch a foul ball as the Cubs came apart in the 2003 playoffs.

And for Harry Caray, who promised viewers after the 1991 finale that "sure as God made green apples, someday the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series."

Maddon, hired before the 2015 season, won his first Series title after establishing a loose clubhouse that featured at times Warren the pink flamingo, Simon the magician and the motto: "Try not to suck."

"It was just an epic battle," Zobrist said. "Just blow for blow, everybody playing their heart out. The Indians never gave up, either, and I can't believe we're finally standing, after 108 years, finally able to hoist the trophy."


This was the first World Series in which no starting pitcher got at least one out in the seventh inning, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The only other in which no starter finished at least seven innings was in 2002, when San Francisco's Russ Ortiz threw 6 1/3 innings in Game 6.


Cleveland's spring training opener is scheduled for Feb. 26 against the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona.

Suffice to say, the stakes won't be quite as high.

A quick scan of the team's schedules shows they DO NOT play each other in the 2017 regular season.

Baseball, a funny ol' game, isn't it?

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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