Cleveland Fans Take Comfort in How Close They Came to a World Series Win
For the Cleveland Indians and their fans, once again it’s wait until next year. The team let another World Series title slip away with an 8-to-7 extra-inning loss last night to the Chicago Cubs. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier was at Progressive Field and talked with fans of both teams about the winning and losing.
Cubs fans erupted as their team made the final, 10th-inning out against the Indians, eking out the one-run victory. As the large Chicago contingent at Progressive Field watched their team receive the World Series trophy, the Indians fans who stayed at the ballpark -- many with misty eyes -- milled about.
Some consoled fellow fans. Jason Therrien of Lakewood was soothing his 6-year-old son, Alden, who was brought to tears by the loss.
Indians loss a lesson for young fan
“This was a long season. He comes every opening day and we've been to every playoff game with him. He’ll be OK. He’s got to understand it’s a game, but I love that he loves the town and cheers these teams with his heart.”
“How about you?”
“I’m torn, but you know you couldn’t ask for a better game minus the outcome. What a series, and this was a heck of a team we lost to. So I think the cards were stacked against us all season with injuries and different obstacles, so I’m still pretty darn proud, very proud. It's still a city of champions to me.”
The Indians were up 3-1 in the series and could have clinched the title in Game 5 in Chicago on Sunday. But they lost, and lost again in Cleveland Tuesday, forcing Game 7.
Indians ace Corey Kluber started last night after GAme 1 of the series and Saturday’s game in Chicago. But on short rest, he wasn’t able to prevent the Cubs from jumping out to an early lead, giving up a historic homerun to Cubs leadoff man Dexter Fowler in the first inning.
Indians fan John Granzier of Rocky River had mixed emotions about the loss.
“It was an amazing game, it was an amazing series; it will go down in history as one of the best ever, but, you know, it was a tough way to lose. I think we made a lot of mistakes that cost us the game pretty much. I'm very surprised that Corey came out for the fifth. All we wanted was four out of him and we got four, and he came out in the fifth, and the first batter hit a homerun. I think that was the difference.”
Cavs championship helps
Granzier says the Cleveland Cavalier’s championship earlier this year, the city’s first in more than five decades, did take a little bit of the sting out of the Indians loss.
“It definitely makes it easier; it’s still tough but it definitely takes the edge off. If you imagine the Cavs not winning the championship, and being this close to winning a World Series and not getting it. And blowing a 3-1 lead, it would have been devastating for fans."
Chicago fan talks about generational impact
While Indians fans are still waiting their turn to celebrate a baseball championship, 30-year-old Chicago fan Brandon Connor talks about breaking the Cub’s record 108 year old championship drought.
“Every one of us remembers growing up with our grandma and grandpa and having these moments and just hoping that one time this would happen. And that’s what we’re here about. And I’m lucky enough to be here with my family, and it’s just an amazing moment, an amazing moment.”
The Cleveland Indians and their fans have been waiting 68 years for a championship, which is now the longest streak on the books.