There is joy in Wrigleyville.
Seventy-one years of frustration and agony and torment and tears of heartbreak came to ecstatic and joyful end last night.
Hours after Anthony Rizzo caught the relay from Javier Baez to complete the game-ending double play in Game 6 against the Dodgers and send the Cubs to their first World Series in seventy-one years, the fans were still in Wrigley, celebrating their hometown heroes.
The fans have always been there. For 108 years, since the Cubs last won a World Series, the fans have been there. Which is part of the reason it took so long for this to happen. For too long, Cubs ownership didn’t see the point in spending money on a winner. Why? Fans are coming anyway? Revenues were as high as they were ever going to get. Fans were there selling out Wrigley game after game no matter what. Fans were there in front of their TVs, when WGN blanketed the country with Cubs games, maximizing ratings and ad revenues, no matter what. All those years of last place finishes, the fans were there. All those teams that made up the lore of the Loveable Losers, the fans where there.
It took a new owner to come in and decided he actually wanted to win. And even four years ago, when his team lost 101 games, the fans were there.
The fans are probably still be there in Wrigleyville celebrating right now.
Last night, inside Wrigley and in the surrounding neighborhood, a massive throng of a hundred thousand stunned, overjoyed fans awash in Cubs blue opened the relief valve of futility and let their emotions pour out in unbridled joy and tears.
That is what being a fan is all about. Win or lose. Or lose. Or lose. Or lose. Or lose.
You know one day your team is going to come through. One day. For Cubs fans, it’s been nearly 25,000 days.
But don’t remind them of that today. For them, right now, 1945 seems like yesterday.
WORLD SERIES GAME 1, TUESDAY NIGHT IN CLEVELAND.