CLEVELAND -- They’ve represented well all season, so it didn’t surprise Cubs players when the team’s fans made their presence felt at Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night.
Though they were outnumbered, at times Cubs fans gave the visiting team the feel of a home-field advantage at Progressive Field.
The Cubs made the most of the opportunity with an 8-7 victory in 10 innings over the Cleveland Indians that sent their faithful into delirium. Shortly after they blew a four-run lead, the Cubs rebounded and won their first World Series title since 1908.
“It was awesome that they showed up like that,” center fielder Dexter Fowler said. “I feel like the whole season is a home game with Cubs fans everywhere. And they’ve been fighting for this and we did it for them.”
Cubs fans didn’t shy away from making the 5 1/2-hour trek from Chicago after the Cubs forced Game 7 with a victory on Tuesday night. StubHub reported that 60 percent of the fans who purchased Game 7 tickets on Wednesday had Illinois addresses. The median price tag was $1,823.
Fans didn’t wait long to announce their presence, roaring in delight when Fowler led off the contest with a solo homer off Indians starter Corey Kluber.
“We had a lot of Cubs over here,” catcher Miguel Montero said.
Indians fans weren’t to be outdone, especially after Rajai Davis tied the score at 6 in the eighth-inning with a stunning two-run homer off Aroldis Chapman. But the Cubs crowd stayed strong in spite of the potential disaster and roared in delight when Kris Bryant fielded Michael Martinez’s grounder to third and fired the ball to Anthony Rizzo for an out so many never believed would come.
Fans stuck around afterward to partake in the celebration. More than 90 minutes after the final out and in spite of a heavy rain, Cubs fans continued to celebrate their team’s stunning comeback in the series.
“I expected a big contingent in Cleveland,” assistant general manager Jason McLeod said. “I didn’t expect them to get that many tickets into the ballpark. It was awesome. It was like that everywhere -- San Francisco, LA. The Cubs fans came out in droves. They were awesome and we all were talking about this -- personally, professionally we all want to win (for us). But we all talked a lot about, ‘Gosh man, in addition to that, it’d be so great to win for these fans.’ So passionate. To be able to do that and to see them out there after the game -- it looked like they took up a third of the ballpark if not more. It was phenomenal.”
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