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The Chicago Cubs have earned a reputation as one of the most iconic and well-respected franchises in sports history, so it’s no surprise the team’s 103-win season – capped off with the first trip to the World Series in 71 years – has garnered significant attention.
With a long-awaited memorable celebration involving players and fans going well into the early hours of Sunday morning, here are the best moments from the team’s pennant-clinching win.
Lefty vs. lefty: Anthony Rizzo’s clutch homer
After entering the NLCS in a dreadful 1-for-15 slump, Rizzo’s final few games for the Cubs ignited an offense in need of a spark. He collected seven hits in three games, none more important than his solo home run off Los Angels Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw – the first home run he’d given up to a lefty since last year’s playoffs.
Fan averts spectators from Steve Bartman-like miscue
One Cubs fan did everything in his power to stop history from repeating itself. He stood up and blocked anyone from getting in Rizzo’s way on a foul ball near the stands.
The fan’s impulse was due to an unfortunate, and historically controversial play in 2003.
With the Cubs leading the NLCS 3-2 against the Florida Marlins, Cubs fan Steve Bartman leaned into the field of play and interfered with outfielder Moises Alou, who was trying to make the catch for the final out. That inning the gaffe led to the Cubs giving up eight runs, eventually losing the series in seven games.
Dorothy Farrell’s interview
A charming story from Game 6 of the NLCS came during an interview between FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Farrell, a 90-year-old longtime Cubs fan and season ticket holder, who admitted on air she was going to celebrate the memorable win with a shot of Jager.
Aroldis Chapman records final out
Arguably the piece that put the Cubs over the top, Chapman’s presence out of the bullpen has been a huge factor in their World Series run. He posted an incredible 1.01 ERA in 28 regular season games with the Cubs and will head to the World Series for the first time in his career.
Andrew Toles’ critical 1st-inning error
After the Cubs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, momentum quickly swung further in their favor. On a Rizzo line drive, the speedy outfielder tracked the ball but lost it in the lights at the last second, leading to another run for the Cubs.
Joe Maddon, Dave Roberts share embrace
After an emotional ending to a well-played series, both managers displayed a tremendous amount of class and respect for one another, with a special moment behind the scenes. Both skippers enjoyed fantastic seasons with their respective clubs, with Rogers leading the Dodgers to a 91-win campaign and NLCS berth in his first year in charge, and Maddon helping guide the Cubs to their first World Series appearance since 1945.
Cubs fans rejoice outside Wrigley
After a long rebuild which saw the team lose 377 games from 2011-2014, Cubs faithful deserved a reason to celebrate, and they got it after a historically good regular season which saw the team win 103 games for the first time since 1910, paving the way to a World Series berth.