The old expression “some things are worth waiting for” is true in many different scenarios. The Chicago Cubs and their fans had whole generations pass without a World Series crown, but that all ended last November.
The 108 years since the last title meant a lot to the city of Chicago, and between the banner raising and the ring ceremony, it was a special week for the Chicago Cubs that will not be easily forgotten.
The exquisite rings were made by Jostens and, as CBS Sports reported, featured Wrigley Field, the ‘W’ Flag and the ‘Billy Goat’, all central parts of Cubs lore and tradition. Rings were also given out to Ron Santo and Ernie Banks posthumously, as both had waited many years to see the Cubs finally win it all. Fan favorite David Ross took time away from Dancing with the Stars to join the Cubs’ celebration.
Speaking of the design of the rings relative to the 2007 and 2013 championship rings in Boston, Jon Lester stated:
For the Cubs it was extra special because when they had last won a World Series in 1914, the advent of giving rings to the championship teams hadn’t occurred yet. The start of this tradition is thought to have occurred in the 1920s. Before that, the players would often get some kind of keepsake or trinket for their efforts.
Famously, the Oakland Athletics got World Series rings in 1973 with no diamonds, and it is the current low mark in the ring category as the players did not feel the rings were good representations of their efforts. With 108 diamonds in the Chicago Cubs rings given out, it will be hard for other future champions to top. Now the longest drought in sports belongs to the Arizona Cardinals followed closely by the Cleveland Indians. They still would need to wait over 30 more years to match the diamond per year of no-championships that the Cubs included in their rings.
After the pageantry of the ring ceremony, the Dodgers beat the Cubs 2-0 behind the strong pitching effort of Brandon McCarthy. The Dodgers have now had to watch the Cubs win the pennant, raise the banners, and collect their rings, all in person. As co-favorite to represent the National League in the Fall Classic, it might be the kind of motivation that Dave Roberts needs.
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Now with the banners hanging in center field, and the rings back home with the Cubs players and staff, the 2017 season truly begins for the Cubs with the rest of the league looking to have similar parties in seven to eight months.