The Cubs brought on their shiny new closer, Aroldis Chapman. The Rockies got a baserunner on, who scored on a double by Ryan Raburn. Raburn ended up scoring the winning run on that same play after being awarded home plate when an errant throw ended up in the Cubs dugout. The rules say that all runners get two bases when a ball is thrown out of bounds, making it twice as bad as a balk, especially at the end of a game.
Regardless of how this weekend goes, the Cubs have the biggest division lead of any team in the Majors right now, and have a real shot at doing well in the playoffs this year, perhaps even a chance to Reverse the Curse, something the Red Sox did in 2004 after their own lengthy drought.
|2012 Panini Cooperstown #115 Ernie Banks|
The Cubs' last World Series appearance predates the creation of Israel, and their last overall victory came before Charles Lindbergh, World War I, and the construction of the Titanic. The "Next Year in Jerusalem" phrase, at least from a geopolitical standpoint, has become more of a tradition than a prayer.
But the Cubs are still waiting.
With Ernie Banks' passing last year, as well as the plot of Back to the Future 2, there was a real buzz in 2015, when the Cubs got to the NLCS. But they couldn't win it for Mr. Cub, who appears on Panini's Cooperstown set from 2012. I got that, as well as a lot of other cards at a show quite some time ago, which I'm just now starting to write about. More to come on that card show haul.
|2013 Topps Archives #48 Ryne Sandberg|
Ken Griffey, Jr., Barry Bonds, Carlton Fisk, Ted Williams, and Ty Cobb are all members of that list, indicating that a World Series win is truly a team achievement, and even the best in history can't do it all by themselves.
Those guys all probably have Topps Archives cards too. Sandberg looks good on a 1972 Topps design. I'll go ahead and guess that this photo was taken on the road, seeing as how Wrigley Field didn't even have lights for the earlier part of Sandberg's career. That happened in August 1988, a whopping eighty years since their last championship.
108 years is a long, long time.
|2014 Topps Archives #152 Anthony Rizzo|
|2013 Bowman Gold #181 Dexter Fowler|
His speed trailed off a bit after this, but the card mentions his four straight seasons with double-digit triples, a stat in which he led the league in 2010. Topps also threw a million-dollar word on here, referring to Fowler as an ebullient personality.
If 2016 turns out to be the year, Fowler is sure to be a reason for it.
|2012 Panini Cooperstown #33 Joe Tinker|
|2012 Panini Cooperstown #34 Johnny Evers|
He was also a smart defender, and was the fielder who helped cement the Cubs' 1908 pennant after catching Fred Merkle in a forceout at second to end the first game Merkle ever started for the New York Giants. The Cubs won a make-up game after that disputed game ended in a tie, and in the tight 1908 NL Pennant race, ended up costing the Giants dearly.
|2012 Panini Cooperstown #35 Frank Chance|
Russell to Baez to Rizzo doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Tinker to Evers to Chance, but the Giants are still (barely) leading the NL West and it's an even-numbered year. It's entirely possible that the Cubs and Giants will be renewing their rivalry a century later.