It was a torturous night. But this picture, a scene that fans might be used to seeing on a regular basis, was 108 years in the making.
It was the Chicago Cubs’ first appearance in a World Series in 71 years, and their first title since 1908 – a year when construction on the Titanic had not even begun. As Javier Báez and Addison Russell jumped in the air at the end of 10 grueling innings, millions of Cubs fans were celebrating the end of the longest championship drought in American sports. The curse of Billy Goat was finally put to rest – once and for all.
The road to that point wasn’t easy. Waking up Sunday morning, the Cubs were trailing the Cleveland Indians 3-1 in the World Series. They came back with a win that night, and then again on Tuesday. For many reasons, Wednesday’s game will go down in history.
The Cubs were up for most of Game 7. At the bottom of the 5th, it was 5-3. The next inning, they made it 6-3. But at the bottom of the 8th, the Indians came back to tie the game. The 9th was scoreless. A tweet from 2014 that had called this exact scenario—Cubs vs. Indians in 2016, with Game 7 going into extra innings—went viral. In Cleveland, where the game was played, midnight neared and faded. And there was, of course, a rain delay.
In the top of the 10th, Chicago bumped the score to 8-6. Cleveland came back with a run, but the Cubs held firm.
The happiness in this picture may not make up for all the misery that Cubs fans have experienced since then, almost 40,000 days ago, but it sure will help.