Today is Chicago's day. No doubt about that.
The forever-downtrodden Cubs' organization and their beleaguered fans are celebrating the quenching of the 108-year fire after the Game 7 World Series win, one that some are calling the best baseball game ever played. But a whole nation of baseball fans seemed to also breathe a sigh of relief along with them.
The Cubbies won the decisive Game 7, 8-7 over the Cleveland Indians to give the team its first World Series title since 1908, ending the Curse of the Billy Goat that hung over the franchise since 1945, when fan and tavern owner William Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field during a World Series game due to the smell of his pet goat, which had accompanied him.
The folks at Dallas Baptist University have a right to be proud, too, as Cubs' left fielder Ben Zobrist drove in the game-winning run with a double in the top of the 10th inning Thursday to put Chicago up 7-6. Zobrist spent his senior season at Dallas Baptist in 2004 before being drafted as a shortstop in the sixth round of the MLB draft by the Houston Astros.
He was the university's everything man in 2004, leading DBU in hits (84), batting average (.378), home runs (8), RBI (66) and slugging percentage (.590) on the way to a championship with slightly less ring to it than his two World Series wins, the 2004 National Christian College Athletic Association championship.
It was DBU's second consecutive NCCAA championship at the time. For Zobrist, this World Series win was his second in a row after helping the Kansas City Royals snap a 30-year championship drought by winning the 2015 title.
But Zobrist isn't DFW's only connection to the World Series win that almost no one predicted.
The Cubs' Game 6 winner Jake Arrieta, who also won Game 2 of the World Series, also has Dallas ties. He pitched for Plano East High School before playing his college baseball at Weatherford Junior College and then TCU.
Two former Texas Rangers pitching prospects threw for the Cubs in the Game 7 win. Starter Kyle Hendricks was acquired by the Cubs, along with another infielder, in the 2012 trade that landed the Rangers' noted aging one-year pitcher Ryan Dempster, who is now retired. And reliever Carl Edwards, Jr., who pitched the first two outs of the 10th inning for the Cubs, was drafted by the Rangers in 2011 before finding his way to the Cubs with a stop in the Seattle Mariners' organization.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.