With just two weeks remaining in one of the bitterest presidential elections of all time, the Baseball Gods have provided a much needed national distraction that has been a combined 176 years in the making.
While many Americans likely cannot name the last five World Series Champions, even casual sports fans are already aware that the Cubs and Indians will be playing in a World Series for all ages.
After all, these are not just any two Major League teams, these are two teams with epic histories of finding new ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. There have been movies, songs, poems and books chronicling the failures and collapses of these two storied franchises.
What we do know, is that within the next 10 days either the 68 year streak of futility for the Indians or the 108 year streak for the Cubs will be over.
How we get from here to that moment is a compelling story that seems likely to shift at least some of the Facebook and Twitter focus from the Trump-Clinton election to America’s pastime.
The Cubs are not only making their first World Series appearance since 1945, but they finished the regular season with the best record in baseball for the first time since they lost that dramatic seven game series to the Detroit Tigers 71 years ago. Their 103 victories is the most in a season for the Cubs since winning 100 games in 1935 (they lost that series in six games to the Tigers).
Though the Indians have made three World Series appearances since last winning a championship in 1948, until the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship earlier this year to end the 52-year championship drought for the city of Cleveland, their burden seemed just as daunting as that of the Cubs.
However, now that the pressure of a city has been lifted from their shoulders, it almost seems like the Indians are playing with house money. While their 68 year World Series drought is certainly significant, it pales in comparison to that of the Cubs and the national fan base that watched much of their misery over the last several decades thanks to the WGN super-cable network. Read the rest of this entry →