CHICAGO (CBS) — On Friday, Chicago threw an epic party in the streets of Chicago and in Grant Park in celebration of the World Series Champions, the Chicago Cubs.
“How does it feel to be a fan of a World Championship Chicago Cubs team?” said Pat Hughes, Cubs Broadcaster.
An estimated two million people packed Hutchinson Field inside Grant Park for a rally and party that began about 45 minutes late, but fans did not care. WBBM’s Lisa Fielding reports.
Hughes introduced the front office, the coaches and finally the players to the stage.
“Thank you Cubs fans for coming out,” said outfielder Dexter Fowler. “You’re the best in the world.”
“I have a trivia question for you,” said Cubs owner Tom Rickets, “How many years has it been since the Cubs won the World Series? Zero, years since the Cubs won the World Series, thank you.”
President of Business Operations Crane Kenney chocked up as he talked about Billy Williams, who’s become an ambassador for the Cubs.
“Billy’s flag flies on the right field pole, his staute graces the entrance to our building, his plaque is in Cooperstown but most importantly Billy is the connection to our past. We love you Billy.”
“I just want to say thank you to the fans,” said Theo Epstein, President, Baseball Operations. “108 years, ridiculous. 108 years of support, waiting for what happened the other night in Cleveland.”
“Thank you for your support,” Epstein continued. “Our players felt it, felt how badly you guys wanted it. Seeing you guys sharing this with your parents, your grandparents. It was incredibly emotional for everybody. Human beings can accomplish more for others than they can do for themselves. You guys are what carried our guys until the end.”
Team leader, first baseman and cancer survivor Anthony Rizzo choked up as he talked about his teammate, catcher David Ross.
“He’s like a brother to me,” Rizzo said. “He’s taught me a lot in life – on the field, off the field, how to be a better person. I’m forever grateful for him. And he’s going out a champion forever. For the rest of his life, he can say the last game he played in, he’s a World Champion.”
Rizzo mentioned names like Kerry Wood, Ryan Dempster, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Billy Williams.
“Every single player that is still living has been a big part of this and we thank them, too,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo also presented the ball from the final out of the World Series to Tom Ricketts.
“This has exceeded our wildest dreams so from everybody the Ricketts family, everything they’ve done to create a family atmosphere, to the players, the staff, all the scout development, front office people you don’t get to see, congrats you guys are world champs,” Epstein said.
A sea of blue and red, W flags and joyous faces…and anticipation for more to come.
“Let’s hope this is not another 108 years, let’s come back and do this next year, thank you,” said Joe Maddon, Cubs manager.
David Ross thanked his family and introduced Country singer Brett Aldridge who led an acoustic rendition of Go Cubs Go, the players joined in and were lead out to the Queen song “We Are The Champions”.