After 10 innings, seven games and 108 years, the Chicago Cubs are finally World Series Champions. During the Nov. 2 game, the team defeated the Cleveland Indians with a Game Seven score of 8-7.
Lifelong Cubs fans Mike Cameron, 66, and his wife Chris Atkins, 64, of Wrigleyville joined celebrations in their neighborhood while watching the game outside of a bar on Addison Street after the victory. They said the title win was a huge moment not only for the Cubs but for the city.
“It’s incredible,” Atkins shouted while admiring the surrounding crowd, “Seven games, 10 innings, and we did it.”
Cameron shared his wife’s enthusiasm for the hometown win, citing the game’s excitement and suspense.
“It’s the best World Series,” he said. “We are so proud.”
From the Chicago Cubs being tied with the Cleveland Indians with a score of 6-6 in the 9th inning and the rain delay in the beginning of the 10th.
Though the final game was played at the Indians’ Progressive Field, it did not stop Cubs fans, like Cameron and Atkins, from coming together to cheer on their home team in Wrigleyville.
Fans packed in shoulder to shoulder in front of Wrigley Field and surrounding neighborhoods, chanting the team anthem, “Go! Cubs! Go!” Those who were not watching the game in bars stood outside of them to watch from the sidewalk or watched in nearby houses and outside local businesses holding up flags, “flying the ‘W.’” Trains passing through the Addison Red Line stop also played the game over their speakers for daily commuters.
The Cubs phenomenon was not just limited to city residents. Fred Maratos, a 46-year-old from Brantford, Ontario, and Brad Tomalty, a 37-year-old from Montreal, traveled from Canada to Chicago for a weeklong business trip and could not pass up the opportunity to watch the game and experience the electric crowds in Wrigleyville.
“We thought, ‘This could be history, so we need to get down there.’” Maratos said.
Tomalty came to Chicago in August and toured Wrigley Field, which piqued his interest in the Cubs ever since, he explained with a grin on his face.
“I’ve been watching them progress throughout the year, and now that I am in town and it’s Game seven, I felt like I had to go,” Tomalty said eagerly.
Indians fan and Ohio native Emma Ballish, 18, came to Wrigleyville to cheer on her hometown team. Originally from Madison, Ohio, she said she felt the need to cheer on the Indians, but the Cubs fans were convincing her to switch sides.
“The Cubs fans just make me want to be a Cubs fan, but I love the Indians because they’re from my hometown,” she said. “I love Chicago. It’s Chicago’s turn.”
After the long-awaited victory for the Cubs, fans barricaded the streets and paraded towards Wrigley Field for a night-long celebration. Fans lingered in the streets of Wrigleyville until the early hours of Thursday morning.
Some fans climbed the Addison Street traffic light, while others took turns chugging beers and climbing on top of cars. Wrigleyville residents hung out of the windows of their homes lighting sparklers and fireworks and blasted the Cubs song. Chicago Police officers kept fans under control by blocking off streets and monitoring carefully,but allowed the celebration to continue.
Approximately $5 million fans also continued their celebration at the Nov. 4 parade that took the team from Wrigley Field down Michigan Avenue, ending in Grant Park for an additional celebration of the victory.
Avelino Cortez of Rogers Park said he has been a Cubs fan his entire life. As he watched the victory unfold through the window of a business in Wrigleyville, Cortez, 52, said it was an unforgettable moment.
“We’ve been waiting for this for so long,” he said “and just being here, being part of history is the most amazing thing.”
Click here to see The Chronicle’s photo gallery with additional coverage.