The Chicago Cubs had a love-in today with the entire city of Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs had their victory parade on a gorgeous Fall day with the sunshine and blue skies. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for a parade.
Millions of people turned out, saluting their beloved Cubs. Fans lined the streets in the day to get a glimpse of their favorites Cubs as the bus caravan passed by. There were throngs of cheering Cubs fans on the side of streets, on thoroughfares, along the side of Michigan Ave.
What a moment. The buses carried the Cubs who seemed happy, tired and relieved to be having this moment with each other and their fans.
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The Cubs are world champions and this team has done something generations of fans has been waiting for. Well, as Anthony Rizzo said, “It finally happened.”
As the buses with Cubs’ players pulled up to the stage in Grant Park, one could only think back to all the Cubs who wore the uniform, to the great Ernie Banks, and Ron Santo, who never got to see this day.
Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams were there to receive the accolades of being great ballplayers, and then the love-in began. Pat Hughes, the radio broadcaster, was the M.C. and he introduced just about everyone in the Chicago Cubs organization.
Tom Ricketts, the owner had some warm words for the team and the long-time fans of Cubbies. The coaches were introduced and finally Joe Maddon, the Cubs manager who seemed to be the right choice to lead this team when he signed on two years ago.
Maddon coined the phrase “Embrace the Target” — the slogan that seemed to epitomize the reliance and perseverance of this club. They faced challenges during the season and in the early rounds of the playoffs and took them on.
Then in the dramatic Game 7, they simply would not let the game slip away from them. Maddon came out on stage and joked that today was “Cubstock”. In reference to Woodstock, the famed rock music festival.
The Cub players were introduced one by one. Some had a few words. Then Anthony Rizzo was warmly introduced and gave the game ball to team owner Mr. Ricketts. He choked up talking about his teammate, catcher David Ross.
About how much he meant to him and the team. Ross, of course, hit his home run in Game 7 to give the Cubs a 6-3, which allowed Chicago Cubs fans to exhale for a bit. Ross came out onstage and it wasn’t exactly what he said, it was the smile on his face which showed a feeling of great accomplishment.
He knew that he had a ‘band of brothers’ — and he went out a champion as it may likely be his last year playing.
This team had their moment today, rejoicing with Cub Nation and one has to hope there would be more moments of celebrating. The day ended with the team singing “Go Cubs Go” to the large crowd.
One can finally say “Cubs are World Champs.”