In a sports year filled with historic championships, the 2016 Fall Classic was no different. A clash between franchises with the two longest title droughts in the league, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games.
It was the first time the North Siders have won the World Series since 1908, ending the longest championship drought by an American sports franchise. On the other side, the Indians fell short yet again. The Tribe last won in 1948 and have since played in four Fall Classics, failing to win each time. This was also the second consecutive World Series appearance in which Cleveland lost the series in Game 7 in extra innings. (Lost in 1997 to the Florida Marlins)
But the end of a title drought was only a portion of what made this so memorable for the Cubs. This was only the 5th time that a team came back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the World Series. It was also only the 4th time in 41 years that a team had lost Game 7 at home.
Individual World Series records were broken by players on both squads. Indians pitcher Corey Kluber set the record for most strikeouts through the first three innings, punching out eight of nine outs, five of which were looking. Cubs’ shortstop Addison Russell tied the record for most RBI in a single World Series game with six joining Bobby Richardson, Hideki Matsui, and Albert Pujols. Russell was the youngest to accomplish the feat. And lastly, how can we forget about “Grandpa” David Ross, who became the only player in MLB history to have his last career hit be an HR in Game 7 of the World Series.
Moving forward, both franchises have some bright futures. The Cubs are on the verge of becoming a dynasty in the upcoming years, with all the young talent and great pitching they have. The Indians, who surprised many with their accomplishments this year, hope they can carry some of their success to the 2017 season.
This may not be the end of these two in October. Both teams will have most of their key pieces back in 2017, making a potential World Series rematch very possible.
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Dan Lowery Ph.D.
Calumet College of St. Joseph
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