The Chicago Cubs made it to the World Series for the rst time since 1945, and it was 108 years since they won it all. 2016 was nally the year the Cubs won the World Series and it seems most of the world knows about it. The W ag was ying from all areas of the globe.
So how did the Cubs accomplish this great feat of epic proportions? It started several years ago with new ownership, then new management and players. An ambitious multi-year plan was established to renovate Wrigley Field, a ballpark over 100 years old, which now includes a celebration room for victory celebrations. Rizzo, Bryant, Arietta, Grampa Rossy, the list of impact players goes on and on. These were all key ingredients to this monumental season.
However, what was the real key to the Cubs success? Long time Cub fan and local architect, Bill Styczynski, believes it was all his behind the scenes effort and rituals that made the difference. After all, this is the same guy that brought the Stanley Cup back to Chicago with Chicago Blackhawks winning three championships since 2010.
The most important ingredient for success was the right choice of Kentucky Bourbon for enjoying during the game. To start the series, 1792 Bourbon was chosen as it sounded closest to the year to when the Cubs last won it all. Of course, a special Cubs bag of peanuts was a necessity. Uniform of the day, a blue Cubs tee shirt with “Our Time is Now” on the front, and of course Joe Maddon glasses. So the series begins against the San Francisco Giants, with the Cubs eventually winning the series 3-1.
The Cubs then faced the LA Dodgers in the NLCS and started out strong with an 8-4 late inning win against the Dodgers. In fact, a grand slam home run against relieving pitcher Joe Blanton brought out shots of Blanton’s Kentucky Bourbon in celebration. But then things went bad. The Cubs lose two straight shutout games. Before Game 4, Bill was sitting at a stoplight thinking “not again Cubs, not this year”. He then looked up and saw a sign, not a sign from God, but a real sign. A Knob Creek sign that says October Baseball calls for 100 Proof Bourbon. So like any good manager switching up the lineup, he put in a call to the bullpen for a switch in bourbon to Knob Creek. The Cubs go on to win with a rout that night, a 10-2 win and they then go on to win the next two games to make it to the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Against the Cleveland Indians in the World Series, Bill was in Austin TX. With no Knob Creek available they lose game one. For game two, he found a bar with Knob Creek and the Cubs win. During the ight home, he could see Wrigley Field while landing, it was all lit up and the city was looking awesome. The rst world series night game at Wrigley Field. However, he returned home to find out the Cubs peanuts had not been put out. Cubs lost the game. “We won’t do that again.” The Cubs proceed to lose the next game as well. However the trait of any long time Cubs fan is to never give up, but in the back of their minds they can not help but think “again?”. The Cubs proceeded to win the next two games to tie the series and eventually win Game 7. A nail biter to the end, the Cubs nally clinch it, the Cubs had won the World Series! The lovable looser no more, the goat is dead! Thank you Bill Styczynski, you managed a great series.
Everyone has their own superstitions and lucky routines regarding the Cubs. Toy bats, lucky tee shirts, good luck trinkets, watching the game with eyes peeking over a pillow or just leaving the room and going outside when things get tough. It’s what Cubs fans do and we all know we were part of something special. What a ride it was.