Fans wept tears of joy into their beers and then swarmed the streets around Wrigley Field to celebrate the Cub’s first World Series championship in 108 years.
Ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration, the Cubs won their first title since 1908, outlasting the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings of a Game 7 thriller late Wednesday.
Sue Babin said she couldn’t think about anything else the night before Game 7.
“Oh my God, I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep last night,” Babin said during a commercial break.
Along with about 60 other Cubs fans, Babin watched Game 7 leaning up against the bar, right in front of the TV at Farragut’s, a bar about two miles north of Wrigley Field in Andersonville.
Babin was feeling pretty confident in her team’s chances until the 8th inning, when all-Star closer Aroldis Chapman blew a three-run lead with two outs in the eighth when Rajai Davis hit a tying homer.
Babin hugged her friend and watched silently.
Manager Joe Maddon’s team halted the longest title drought in baseball, becoming the first club to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.
Cleveland was trying to win its first crown since 1948, but lost the last two games at home.
World Series favorites since spring training, Chicago led the majors with 103 wins this season. The Cubs then ended more than a century of misery for their loyal fans — barely.
The Cubs, after tormenting their fans one more time, came right back after a 17-minute rain delay before the top of the 10th.
Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double and Miguel Montero singled home a run to make it 8-6. Davis delivered an RBI single with two outs in the bottom half, but Mike Montgomery closed it out, and the celebration was on.
Blue-clad Cubs fans filled nearly the entire lower deck behind the Chicago dugout at Progressive Field, singing “Go! Cubs! Go!”
And in Chicago, fans flooded Wrigleyville.
Heading two miles south down Clark Street from Farragut’s was a cacophony of car honking, whooping and singing. Drivers stopped every half block to high-five people on the side of the road, fans walked down the middle of the street holding W flags, each holding one side of a W flag.
“It’s a once in 108 year experience,” said Chris Markovics. “You gotta come down here and see the sights. We got as close to the marquee as we could, they turned us around, totally understandable.”
Markovics came down to Wrigleyville from Uptown, but he got turned away before he could get to Clark and Addison. Police started shutting down the streets around 12:30 a.m.. One guy who wouldn’t take no for an answer at the blockade at Clark and Irving Park was tackled and arrested.
But Sherry and Ed Davidson were able to make their way to the front of Wrigley.
“And then I got trampled outside there,” Sherry Davidson said. “And the police had to drag me out of the street and put me on the sidewalk. I could have ended up in the hospital and not cared because I was here!”
The Davidson’s headed to the brick wall under the right field bleachers, where fans have been writing messages in chalk during this postseason run.
Sherry wrote her name, her husband’s name, and “Go Cubs” on the brick.
“My great grandpa used to bring me to the Cubs games, and we moved out of state 13 years ago,” Sherry said. “And we drove 15 hours to come back here for this series when we knew we were gonna do it.”
But Sherry admits her confidence wavered at points during that crazy game 7.
“I was crying,” she said. “The tears were running down my cheeks. I thought we were gonna lose, then I thought we were gonna lose, then I thought we’re gonna win!
“Now we are winners, and the goat needs to be fried and gotten rid of.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Patrick Smith is a producer and reporter with WBEZ. You can follow him @pksmid.