COMMENTARY: My Cubs finally take on the World Series

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COMMENTARY: My Cubs finally take on the World Series

Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur practices before their game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 3.

Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur practices before their game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 3.

Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur practices before their game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 3.

Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur practices before their game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 3.

Katlynn Whitaker, Design Editor

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Four more wins.

This is all that separates my Chicago Cubs from their first World Series title in more than a century.

Last weekend, the Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 at Wrigley Field to become this year’s National League (NL) champions. The last time they won the pennant was just over 70 years ago.

Last year, the New York Mets swept the Cubs in the league championship series, denying the team a World Series berth.

This agony of defeat has become quite routine for long-time Cubs fans.

My father and aunt both recall the 1984 NL series, where the Cubs lost to the San Diego Padres. My worst memory was the 2003 NL series against the Florida Marlins, when an eight-year-old me watched the “Steve Bartman incident” in horror and the collective morale of Wrigley Field sink into a deep depression.

Since the 2003 loss, the Cubs made a run in both 2007 and 2008, but were swept both times in the National League Division Series.

The spirit of most Cubs fans remained strong after those heartbreaking losses, but as I grew up and went to high school, my title hopes were diminished. I still loved the Cubs, but that 2003 passion was lost.

I think the same thing happened to a lot of fans after that year, and I worried that after the 2015 loss the championship fever would subside once more.

Boy, was I wrong.

Led by manager Joe Maddon and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, this Cubs team is not the team I grew up watching in 2003. These players are young, yet they personify the history of the franchise.

From Anthony Rizzo’s sportsmanship to Maddon’s unorthodox yet brilliant managing techniques, this team is not only good, but lovable.

My father always says that this team reminds him of watching a Little League game. The players are versatile, friendly, goofy and just fun to watch.

Winning by embodying not the spirit of an aggressive champion, but that of a 12-year-old? Only Joe Maddon would think that way.

That spirit proved both effective and contagious. It also restored the same passion for the Cubs I had in 2003 and for baseball itself now in my college years.

After the Cubs won Saturday night, the city of Chicago and the whole world seemed to explode. Social media was flooded with cheering, screaming and even crying. See below for some posts.

I had some of those reactions as well, but a part of me was just speechless. The Cubs still haven’t achieved the ultimate goal of a long-awaited World Series win, but just making it to the series alone has been a long time coming.

Am I dreaming? I guess the only thing left to say about this team can be summed up in two words.

Thank you.

Oh, and try to beat Cleveland too.

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