Chicago Cubs Win 2016 World Series, End 108-Year Drought

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The billy goat curse is dead.

The Chicago Cubs are World Series champions at long last, winning their first Fall Classic in 108 years, defeating the Cleveland Indians in 10 innings 8-7 in Game 7 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The Indians were down 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, but they got to closer Aroldis Chapman, tying things up with an RBI double from Brandon Guyer and a two-run home run from Rajai Davis.

Chapman blew the save, Cleveland had the momentum, but then play was halted by rain before the start of the 10th inning. The delay lasted 17 minutes.

When play resumed, Chicago got to work.

Kyle Schwarber singled off Bryan Shaw. Albert Almora, Jr., came in to pinch run and advanced to second on a fly out from Kris Bryant. Ben Zobrist's RBI double off Bryan Shaw drove in pinch runner Albert Almora, Jr., and Miguel Montero's single with the bases loaded brought home Anthony Rizzo for what proved the winning run.

Zobrist was named World Series MVP.

The Cubs hadn't won a World Series since 1908, which was the longest drought in baseball. They also broke the curse set the last time they got this far 71 years ago.

On October 6, 1945, a month after the end of World War II, a Chicago tavern owner named William "Billy" Sianis went to Wrigley Field, intending to attend Game 4 of the World Series with his pet goat, Murphy. But, according to the Billy Goat Tavern website, while both had tickets, the goat was denied entry. No animals were allowed in the ballpark, plus Murphy smelled bad.

Sianis, according to legend, threw up his arms and proclaimed, "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field."

They had not won since. Until now.

The Cubs are the first team to come behind from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series since the Kansas City Royals did it in 1985. Chicago also accomplished that feat by winning the final two games on the road. The last team to do that was the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.

With the Cubs' win early Thursday morning, the Indians now have the current longest dry spell between championships, last winning in 1948.

Curse killers

This Cubs roster was built by team president Theo Epstein, and he's helped kill a curse before. Epstein's previous job: General manager of the Boston Red Sox. In 2004, the team roster he built won its first World Series since 1918, ending the Curse of the Bambino.

"It's fitting it's got to be done with one of the best games of all time," Epstein said with the World Series trophy in his arms, talking to Fox. "It's unbelievable. What a testament to our players, their grit."

Epstein said this title isn't just for the current team, and he can't wait to bring the trophy back to Chicago.

"Our fans just deserve it so much, and all the former Cubs, everyone, this is for so many people -- (the late) Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams. ... We're bringing the trophy home to you guys. It's been a century in the making."

Cubs lineup gets to Kluber

Indians starter Corey Kluber had been dominant this postseason, including getting the win in Games 1 and 4. Entering Game 7, he allowed just three earned runs in 30 1/3 innings this postseason, striking out 35 with an ERA of 0.89.

But Kluber struggled, giving up four runs on six hits. It was his first career game (134 starts, five relief appearances) where he failed to record a strikeout.

In the top of the first inning, Dexter Fowler hit the first lead-off home run in a winner-take-all Game 7 to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

Cleveland answered in the bottom of the third inning, with Carlos Santana driving in Coco Crisp. Chicago, though, wasn't finished.

In the top of the fourth, Kris Bryant singled to left for the Cubs. Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Zobrist reached on a fielder's choice to put runners on first and third.

An Addison Russell sacrifice fly brought home Bryant to regain the lead. Willson Contreras doubled off the wall in center and drove in Zobrist to make it 3-1.

In the top of the fifth, Javier Baez, the final batter Kluber faced, hit a solo home run. It was 5-1.

Ross redeems himself, makes World Series history

In the bottom of the fifth with two outs, Cubs manager Joe Maddon elected to take out his starter, Kyle Hendricks, with a runner (Santana) on first. In came Jon Lester, coming off two days' rest, and his catcher, David Ross. It didn't go so well for Chicago at first.

Jason Kipnis hit a soft grounder. Ross' throw sailed past first base, and Kipnis reached on an infield single. Santana advanced all the way to third while Kipnis went to second on the Ross error.

With Francisco Lindor at the plate, a Lester wild pitch bounced off Ross. On heads up base running, Santana and Kipnis scored to make it 5-3.

But any second guessing of Ross was erased in the top of the fifth inning, when the 39-year-old connected on a solo home run to center to give Chicago a 6-3 lead. And with that insurance run came history. Ross -- playing in the final game of his career -- is the oldest player to hit a home run in a World Series Game 7.

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