Chicago is preparing for an event the city has not seen in 71 years: The Chicago Cubs will face the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Game One is Tuesday night.
The two teams have the longest championship droughts in Major League Baseball -- the Indians last won a World Series title in 1948; and the Cubs, which were last in a Series in 1945? Their most recent World Series win was back in 1908 -- 108 years ago.
Correspondent Dean Reynolds said he’s known friends and relatives who were born, lived long lives, and passed away without ever hearing these magical words: “The Cubs are going to the World Series! The Cubs win the pennant!”
And those words were blasted last Saturday night.
It’s been 71 years since Chicago celebrated those words. Cubs fans are now overcome with a new reality that has replaced an old fantasy.
David Rothstein said, “This is a new feeling for everybody in Chicago.”
Besides buying up team merchandise, many Cubs fans say they aren’t sure how to react. “So many of us weren’t even around in ‘45,” said Terri Cigelnik. “I mean, we’ve never experienced this.”
But Stan Rauch has.
Reynolds asked Rauch, “How many times have they broken your heart?”
“How many years is it since 1945?” he laughed.
Rauch was a 15-year-old selling soda at Wrigley Field when the Cubs last went to the World Series against Detroit. They lost.
Rauch picked up a ticket stub off the stadium floor as a souvenir. What compelled him to save it? “I know it wasn’t that I figured 71 years until I could get the next one,” he said.
“You didn’t think that?”
“No!” he laughed.
Now, after waiting more than seven decades, Rauch is not only excited, but optimistic.
“This is the year,” he said. “Look at what they’ve done this year; you can’t beat a club like that. Things have gone for them. They’ve got young players, they’ve got very talented players, a great manager! I mean, there’s no doubt about it.”
“You’re so positive about this, I’m afraid to air this interview, frankly,” Reynolds laughed. “It would really curse the whole thing.”
“It’s not going to curse them at all! There are no curses anymore!”
No, let’s not talk about curses.
The series begins tomorrow night in Cleveland for two games, and then the World Series comes back to Wrigley Field -- yes, Wrigley Field! -- on Friday.
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