Five years since Cleveland Indians appeared in World Series


The Cleveland Indians celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs 6-0 in Game One of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (WJW)– Cleveland was the center of the sports universe on Oct. 25, 2016.

The Cleveland Indians hosted the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the World Series. Meanwhile, across the street, the Cleveland Cavaliers opened their season and raised their first championship banner to the rafters.

(Watch Game 1 of the 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros Tuesday at 8:09 p.m. on FOX 8.)

It was a historic series with the two franchises with the longest World Series droughts facing off. During the four games at Progressive Field, countless Indians legends were in attendance, including Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome, Dennis Martinez and Carlos Baerga, who all threw ceremonial first pitches.

The Tribe shut out the Cubs in Game 1 with nine strikeouts from Corey Kluber and two home runs from Roberto Perez.

The Indians lost the next game, but won back-to-back at Wrigley Field to lead the series 3-1. Just one victory stood between them and their first title since 1948. The Cubs won the next two to bring about the two best words in all of sports: Game 7.

That night at Progressive Field, there were a lot more Cubs fans in attendance. It no longer felt like home field advantage and it’s an issue that would be talked about for days to come as some criticized Tribe season ticket holders for selling to Chicago fans.

Kluber took the mound for the Tribe and gave up a home run to his first batter, Dexter Fowler. They were trailing 4-1 in the fourth when Kluber came out and the ALCS MVP Andrew Miller came in.

Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis scored on a wild pitch that banked off of catcher David Ross’ helmet. The Indians were down 6-4 in the eighth and hope was dwindling when Rajai Davis hit a two-run homer to tie the game. It’s a moment that gives Indians fans goosebumps and shifted the energy at the ballpark. The Indians were gaining momentum.

Rajai Davis #20 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Chicago failed to score in the ninth, bringing up Santana, Kipnis and Francisco Lindor against the widely-unpopular Aroldis Chapman, who quickly retired them. It was still 6-6 after nine innings when it started raining and the tarp was brought onto the field. While the Cubs used the 17-minute rain delay for a pep talk, it had the opposite effect on the Indians.

Grounds crew puts a tarp on the field as the game is delayed due to rain before the start of the 10th inning between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Kyle Schwarber, who became the subject of online ire because of announcer Joe Buck’s constant gushing, hit a single and was replaced with pinch runner Albert Almora. Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked and Ben Zobrist hit a double. Indians reliever Bryan Shaw gave up two runs before Trevor Bauer was brought in for the next two outs.

With Cleveland down by two and two outs, Brandon Guyer drew a walk and Davis continued his one-man rally with a line drive to center field, scoring one. Michael Martinez hit a ground ball to Bryant for an out a first and the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years.

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