Mother Nature teased both the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians last night during game 7 of the 2016 World Series. The two teams with the longest championships droughts in Major League Baseball had to wait out a rain delay that occurred right before the tied game went to an extra inning. When the sky cleared, Chicago emerged as the victor, ending their 108 year World Series dry spell.
And that's not the only odd coincidence that occurred during the 2016 postseason. Here are six other events that make the Cubs' win seem almost destined.
1. The Strange Score
The Chicago Cubs have been playing ball since 1876. But they have only won the World Series twice -- back-to-back championships in 1907 and 1908. Then they endured a 108-year World Series drought until last night's triumph. The final score? Cubs 8, Indians 7. Coincidence, or did fate pay homage to the Cubs' championships from '07 and '08?
2. The Magic Number
That 108-year drought was destined to end, according to Grant DePorter - founder of the Chicago Sports Museum and author of Hoodoo: Unraveling the 100 Year Mystery of the Chicago Cubs (2008). DePorter has found that Cubs history and baseball in general is littered with the magic number 108.
For instance, it takes 108 outs to win the National League Championship Series. And it takes another 108 outs to win the World Series. The distance from the foul poles to home plate at Wrigley Field is 108 meters. And there are 108 double stitches in each Spalding baseball used by the MLB.
And that's just a sampling of coincidences. Check out more from Loop North News.
3. The Back to the Future Prophecy
Another interesting example of 108 popping up in Chicago sports history involves Back to the Future Part II (1989), the sci-fi adventure flick that predicted the Cubs would win the World Series in 2015. (One year off from when they actually did.)
Grant DePorter also noted that according to IMDb, Back to the Future II's runtime is 108 minutes.
4. The Better Prediction
Predicting the Cubs victory within a year is impressive. But that's nothing compared to the foresight of Michael Lee - a Cubs fan who predicted Chicago's victory nearly 25 years ago. For the senior quote under his picture for his high school's 1993 yearbook, Lee wrote, "Chicago Cubs. 2016 World Champions. You heard it here first."
The yearbook resurfaced in August as the Cubs prepared for the MLB postseason. When the story first broke on social media, people suspected that the picture had been photoshopped. But since then, four other copies of the yearbook have surfaced - all containing the same prediction. Unfortunately, Lee has not yet spoken to the media about his quote.
5. The Magic of Bill Murray
Some onlookers have attributed the Cubs victory not to fate or luck but to the influence of actor Bill Murray - a diehard Cubs fan.
"Not to take away from the incredible performance of the team, but we are going to say that Murray's good vibes contributed," wrote Lisa Respers France of CNN. Murray has been one of the most visible celebrity fans during the Cubs' run. Last month, he crashed a White House press briefing to talk up his team.
He also became the face of the franchise when the team's NLCS win brought him to tears.
And he won the hearts of sports fans when he gave away his extra World Series ticket to a Cubs fan from Indiana who was turned away from game 6 at Progressive Field in Cleveland because the game was sold out. Instead of having to watch from home, the fan sat next to Murray and Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder.
He certainly deserved taking a champagne bath with the team after last night's win.
Bill Murray is here and quickly drenched in champagne. pic.twitter.com/oX3fTOckBm— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) November 3, 2016
6. The Broken Curse
Murray had good reason to let that fan tag along. The Cubs haven't done well when diehard fans are turned away from playoff games.
Superstitious sports fans will tell you that the Cubs' playoff woes are tied to the "curse of the billy goat." On Oct. 6, 1945, the Chicago Cubs entered game 4 of the World Series with a 2-1 lead over the Detroit Tigers. Chicago tavern owner and Cubs fan William "Billy Goat" Sianis arrived at Wrigley field that day to watch the game with Murphy, his pet goat. Sianis even bought a ticket for Murphy, but the ushers refused to let in any four-legged fans.
Today in 1945, Billy Sianis & his pet billy goat were ejected from Wrigley Field during Game 4 of 1945 World Series pic.twitter.com/aEieiQcVfM— Dan Shuftan (@StateStSports) October 6, 2015
According to sports legend, Sianis demanded to speak to Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley, who allegedly said that Murphy wasn't allowed in "because the goat stinks."
So Sianis cursed the team. "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more," he told Wrigley. "The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field."
When Detroit rallied to win the 1945 series, Sianis allegedly sent a telegram to Wrigley that said, "Who stinks now?"
That year marked the last time the Cubs would win the National League pennant until 2016, when they clinched the NLCS October 22 -- the same day that Sianis died back in 1970.