The fireworks were going off as I crawled into bed. Daddy woke up and said, "You're kidding?" No one was kidding. The fireworks celebrated the Chicago Cubs first World Series victory in 108 years.
"You're kidding" could have been everyone's first thought throughout the World Series. The Cubs lost two games at home. They went into Cleveland behind 3-2. They had to win three straight games to win the World Series.
Even the local sportscasters started hedging their comments. They went from solid confidence to comments about how young the team was and how there would be other chances. When the Cubs won the first game in Cleveland we were happy that the team delayed Cleveland's party. When the Cubs won Game 6, we started thinking that they might actually win.
As Chicagoans, there is always this little doubt when it comes to the Cubs. For 108 years fans waited to celebrate, year after year they were disappointed. It just seemed like this would be another disappointment.
Right after school the blond twin asked if Erin and Ayanna could come over to watch Game 7. The girls started planning their game party. Pizza, of course, would be the main course. They had Halloween candy and roasted pumpkin seeds for snacks. They rearranged the living room furniture so they could all gather around the television. It's the smaller of our two televisions, but it's the girls television. I invited them to watch in the family room on the bigger television. They declined. It was more about watching in their own space than seeing it on the big screen.
I talked to Grammie before the game started. If my Dad was still alive, November 2 would have been their 59th wedding anniversary. I said it would have been a great anniversary present for Dad. He was one of many Cubs fans who waited his whole life for baseball success. During the World Series run lots of fans wrote notes on Wrigley Field's Waveland Avenue wall about family members who died before they could watch the Cubs play in the World Series. The notes were touching, funny and sweet. I told Mom I wished I could have written a note for Dad.
About 8:30 p.m., Erin's mom texted to say she was going to pick-up Erin at 9:00 p.m. I texted back that the game was in the 5th inning. I offered to bring Erin home at 10:00 p.m. since the game was moving along so quickly. I was sure it would be over by then. The Cubs were winning 5-3. It was looking good.
Of course, these are the Cubs, so nothing went smoothly. The Indians tied the game in the 8th inning at 6 to 6. When the 9th inning ended in a tie, I told Erin and Ayanna it was time to go home. It was 11:00 p.m.
When I walked back into the house the girls were in bed and Daddy was headed there. It started raining in Cleveland. The grounds crew covered the field. Since you never know how long a rain delay will last, Daddy decided it was time to call it a night.
I stayed up a bit to clean up and check work. Before I knew it, the tarp was off and the teams were taking the field. The Cubs were up to bat so I settled in to watch. It sounds impossible now, but I was falling asleep. It was 11:30 p.m. Even the excitement couldn't keep me from drifting off during commercials. When the Cubs took a two run lead, I knew I was going to be up until the end.
When the game was at the bottom of the 10th with two outs, the ball cracked the bat. Kris Bryant grabbed it and threw it to Anthony Rizzo. Before the ball even got to first base, Bryant was celebrating. I held my breath. These were the Cubs on the precipice of winning the World Series. Surely something would go wrong. Suddenly the Cubs players were celebrating on the pitching mound. The team won after breaking the tie with two runs in the 10th inning, breaking 108 years of disappointment.
The celebratory fireworks woke the blond twin. She said she knew the Cubs would win. The brunette twin said she heard the fireworks, but was too tired to wake up enough to talk to us. Daddy summed up the whole night with his "You're kidding?" What seemed so impossible was now done. The Cubs won the 2016 World Series. It was time to celebrate and #FlytheW.