Three former Kane County Cougars were instrumental in the Chicago Cubs’ historic seventh-game World Series win Wednesday night.
The Cougars’ big three — Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras and Albert Almora Jr. — came up bigger than life in a game that can be described as the most amazing in Cubs history.
How “big” were these performances? Let’s count the ways.
We’ll start with Schwarber, whose comeback, as Chicago Tribune sportswriter Paul Sullivan said, “was so unbelievable, so corny, even Disney wouldn’t have dared touch it.”
The big dude tore his ACL in the third game of the season, begged his way into the World Series lineup, and delivered at the plate as a designated hitter time and time again. Last night he goes 3-for-5, including the leadoff single in the 10th inning that starts it all.
And what happens after that single? Another ex-Cougar — Almora — comes in as a pinch runner and, on a long fly ball by Chris Bryant, advances to second. He advances to second!
Why is this so dang important? Because the Indians intentionally walk Anthony Rizzo. Runners on first and second, one out. Series MVP Ben Zobrist doubles home Almora, sends Rizzo to third. And after an Addison Russell walk, Miquel Montero singles to left, scoring Rizzo with what turns out to be the game-winning run.
None of this happens without our Cougars guys.
And what about Contreras? In addition to catching a brilliant game, he’s the guy who doubles in the fourth inning, driving in Zobrist and giving the Cubs a 2-1 lead at the time.
Need we reiterate that every run was needed for this win? We think not.
The Cubs’ first World Series victory since 1908 was won by a score of 8-7 in 10 innings. It was a nailbiter in every sense — a glorious, ulcer-inducing thrill ride that ended a curse that seemed to go on forever and often felt as if it would last well past the end of this lifetime.
So, thank you, Cubs. And thank you, Kane County Cougars, for the role you played in baseball history.
- Paying $3,000 For That Cubs Ticket? Ah, Remember the Good Old Days …
- 3 Former Cougars Make History on Cubs World Series Roster
- 150th Kane County Cougar Makes Major League Baseball Debut — 2 Pitchers Join Cubs
- Candelario Becomes Fourth Former Cougar to Get the Call From the Cubs
- Former Cougars Catcher Contreras Joins Cubs, Homers in First At-Bat
- That’s Our Guy! Cubs’ Schwarber Was Kane County Cougar Just a Year Ago