My favourite game: Cubs v Indians, World Series 2016, Game 7

The Cubs had gone 108, mainly inept, seasons without prevailing the World Series and I was in a barroom in Pasadena the day they intention the drought

In 1989 a scriptwriter announced Bob Gale needed to sort out a patch twist for Back to the Future Part II, the one where Marty McFly purposes up travelling a hoverboard in 2015.” What was the most absurd thing you have been able should be considered in 1989 ?” Gale said, many years later.” What would clear Marty McFly go: “WHAT???” What would utter him want to bet on plays? And it was the Cubs winning the World Series .”

At the time it ogled the safest of selects. The Cubs were famously inept. Generations of followers at their historic, ivy-clad Wrigley Field had witnessed nothing but failure and underachievement since their last-place World Series victory in 1908. Even the White Sox, their cross-city rivals, succeeded a World Series triumph in 2005 having started the season as 66 -1 fires, but the Cubs’ shortage moved beyond a century with no signed of any relief.

But exactly a year adrift of Gale’s absurd prophecy, in 2016, the Cubs impelled it through to the World Series for the first time since 1945. They were up against the Cleveland Indians who, in a neat turn, had the second-longest championship drought- a mere 68 seasons, compared to the Cubs’ 108. When the Indians climbed to a 3-1 line pas, including consecutive prevails at Wrigley Field in its 100 th time, for Cubs followers, all hope once again seemed lost. But two wins of their own levelled it up and thrust a Game 7 decider at the Indian’ Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The Chicago Cubs’ last-place World Series victory had come in 1908 against the Detroit Tigers. Photograph: Stephen Jensen/ Chicago History Museum/ Getty Images

Best of all for a UK-based baseball fan, I was in the US when it happened. It was an interesting time to be in the District in any case, with good-for-nothing on the news but wall-to-wall election coverage as the presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton went into its final few daylights. It felt like an escape to step from radiant California afternoon sunshine into the welcoming darkness of a sports bar in Pasadena as the teams warmed up more than 2,000 miles away to the east.

The bar was already backpack in anticipation, with Cubs devotees outnumbering those rooting for Cleveland by at least 10 to one. While reality so rarely lives up to expectation, Game 7 was an instant classic, with all the ebb and flow of lucks and rapid jiffies of electrifying splendor and high-pitched drama that sets baseball apart.


The Cubs got on the board early, as the first smash up hit a long home run over the centre field wall. The Indians restrained it in the third, became 3-1 down in the next and 5-1 down by the middle of the fifth. No sooner had Cubs supporters started to believe than Cleveland hooted back, with two rolls to make it 5-3.

It was 6-3 Cubs by the middle of the eighth, a three-run cushion with six outs needed for victory. But baseball is a sport like few others, since a single fluctuate of the at-bat can value one, two, three or even four runs to turn a game on its head. With the score back to 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth and a runner on second, Rajai Davis hit a home run that confined video games at 6-6. For the fifth time in history, Game 7 of the World Series was going to added innings.

And then, it started to rain, delaying the finale for almost half an hour. So it was past midnight in Cleveland when Michael Martinez came to the plate, nearly four and a half hours after the first pitching, with two men out, a athlete on first and the Cubs 8-7 in front. Still, there was just one swaying of the bat in it.

Cubs fans celebrate outside Wrigley Field back in Chicago.

A home run would make a “walk-off” victory for the Indian. One more out would prevail it all for the Cubs. Martinez touched it into the infield grunge, the shed beat him to first and the extraordinary billow of interference that embroil around the bar mingled jubilation and feeling with consecrated aid. After 108 years of hurt, it was the tone of boasting absolution.

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