White Sox fans rejoiced as they watched their beloved South Side team defeat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 Sunday to bring the World Series back to the Windy City for the first time since 1959.
At the Cork & Kerry, a neighborhood pub on Chicago's South Side, fans cheered, hugged and sprayed beer into the air at the final out of the game.
Bob O'Dekirk, 35, a South Side resident, lit up a victory cigar.
"I've waited my whole life for this, and right now I don't know how to feel," he said. He predicted his team would win the series.
"With this pitching, I don't know who's going beat them."
Nicholas Binotti, 33, wore a 1959 White Sox American League Championship pin, given to him by his father.
"Just getting to the World Series is a victory for us, but I definitely think they'll win," Binotti said.
Tracey McGrory, 27, works part time as a waitress at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox will take on either Houston or St. Louis on Saturday night. She said her team has been overlooked for too long.
"This is a long time coming," she said. "And I just hope they continue their streak."
At least one fan decided to tone down his celebration in hopes of a bigger win down the road.
Dan Duvall, 32, didn't light his victory cigar, although his buddies were smoking theirs. He put his in his back pocket.
"It's World Series or bust right now," he said. "There's no given in who's going to win or lose. But they have a great chance and I really think they're going to mow down the National League hitters."
The White Sox took the best-of-seven AL Championship Series 4-1, and will play the winner of the Houston Astros-St. Louis Cardinals NL Championship Series. Houston leads the series 3-1 after defeating the Cardinals 2-1 Sunday.
Chicago's 15-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central dropped to 1 1-2 games late in the season, but they hung on to win the division. The team went on to sweep the Boston Red Sox in the best-of-five division series earlier this month.
Postseason baseball is uncommon in Chicago and World Series play even rarer. The last time the White Sox made a trip to the Fall Classic was 46 years ago when the Los Angeles Dodgers beat them in six games.
But it's been 88 years since the White Sox won a World Series title when they defeated the New York Giants in 1917. Two years later, the infamous "Black Sox" took payments from gamblers and threw the Series against Cincinnati. Eight players were banned for life.
The South Siders advanced to the postseason on two other occasions, in 1983 when they lost three of four games to Baltimore in the AL Championship Series, and in 1993, Toronto beat them in six.
Chicago had a brush with postseason fever two years ago when Chicago Cubs clinched the NL Central but blew a chance to reach the World Series for the first time since 1945 when they dropped the final three games in the NLCS to Florida.