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story.lead_photo.caption Chicago Cubs players Mike Montgomery (left), Kris Bryant (center) and Anthony Rizzo celebrate after the final out of Wednesday night’s 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series. The victory gave the Cubs their first Series championship since 1908. - Photo by AP / DAVID J. PHILLIP

CLEVELAND — Two fan bases conditioned to expect the worst from their baseball teams over the past century were put through one emotional wringer after another Wednesday night in an epic Game 7 of the World Series.

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Photo by DAVID J. PHILLIP / AP
Chicago designated hitter Kyle Schwarber hits a single during the top of the 10th inning Wednesday, helping the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

In a deciding game that featured just about everything, the Chicago Cubs finally prevailed 8-7 over the Cleveland Indians in a 10-inning classic at Progressive Field, winning their first World Series since 1908.

In ending the longest title drought in professional sports, the Cubs finished off a rally from 3-1 down in the Series.

“This is one of the best games anyone has ever seen,” Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said. “This trumps everything. I’m out here crying and can’t even put it into words.”

First baseman Anthony Rizzo did so for Bryant.

“It happened, Chicago,” he said. “It happened. We’re world champions.”

After the Cubs scored twice in the top of the 10th, the Indians scored once in the bottom half, with Cubs Manager Joe Maddon bringing on lefty Mike Montgomery to face Michael Martinez, inserted for defense the previous inning.

Montgomery got Martinez to ground to third to finally, at long last, secure the title.

The Cubs became the first team to trail 3-1 in a series and win since the 1985 Royals (over the Cardinals) and the first to do so having to win the last two games on the road since the Pirates in 1979 (over the Orioles).

The Cubs happily bequeathed the longest-without-a-World-Series crown to the Indians, who have not won since 1948.

They built a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning and held a 6-3 lead with four outs to go before all heck broke loose in the eighth.

There, Rajai Davis hit a two-run home run to cap a three-run eighth against Aroldis Chapman — who gave up three consecutive hits after he came in with one on and two outs — tying it at 6-6.

The game went into extra innings, but not before a brief rain storm caused a 17-minute delay.

“This was a tough game, how they came back,” Maddon said of the Indians. “We kind of regrouped after the rain delay.”

After the tarp was removed, Kyle Schwarber started the 10th with a single against right-hander Bryan Shaw and was replaced by pinch runner Albert Almora, who went to second on Bryant’s long fly out to center. Rizzo was intentionally walked and World Series MVP Ben Zobrist came through by hitting a 1-2 pitch to left to bring in Almora to make it 7-6. Miguel Montero’s RBI single made it 8-6.

Right-hander Carl Edwards Jr. got the first two outs of the 10th before Brandon Guyer, who doubled in a run before Davis’ eighth-inning home run, walked with two outs, giving Davis one more crack. Davis singled to bring in Guyer to make it 8-7.

The Cubs and their fans had all been counting down the outs since the middle innings as left-hander Jon Lester, who started and won Game 5, picked up for Kyle Hendricks after 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander threw a wild pitch that scored both Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis to cut the lead to 5-3. But he chewed up the sixth and seventh innings, and recorded two outs in the eight inning.

That’s when the improbable started to become possible for the Indians. Jose Ramirez reached on an infield single, and Maddon brought on Chapman, who threw a career-long 2 2/3 innings in Game 5 and, somewhat controversially, was brought on in the seventh inning of Game 6 with a five-run lead. Guyer greeted Chapman with a double, which brought in Ramirez.

Davis then lined a 2-2, 97-mph fastball just over the wall in left, the two-run home run shaking Progressive Field and tying it at 6-6.

The Cubs put a runner on third with one out in the ninth but Javier Baez attempted to bunt with two strikes — he did not succeed — and Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor ranged toward second to stop a Dexter Fowler grounder back up the middle, throwing the leadoff man out by a step.

Lost a bit in the thrilling final innings was Chicago finally solving Cleveland ace Corey Kluber and star reliever Andrew Miller.

Kluber, 4-1 with a 0.89 ERA in five previous starts this postseason but seeing the Cubs for the third time in nine days, allowed 4 runs and 6 hits over 4-plus innings. Miller, who came in having allowed one run in 17 postseason innings, allowed two over 2 1/3 innings Wednesday night.

At a glance

CHAMPIONSHIP DROUGHTS

Teams with a longest gap since winning a World Series

TEAM LAST TITLE

Cleveland Indians ......................................1948

Pittsburgh Pirates .....................................1979

Baltimore Orioles ......................................1983

Detroit Tigers ............................................1984

New York Mets .........................................1986

Los Angeles Dodgers ...............................1988

Oakland Athletics ......................................1989

Cincinnati Reds .........................................1990

Minnesota Twins .......................................1991

Toronto Blue Jays .....................................1993

Atlanta Braves ...........................................1995

Arizona Diamondbacks.............................2001

Los Angeles Angels ..................................2002

Miami Marlins ...........................................2003

Chicago White Sox ...................................2005

Philadelphia Phillies ..................................2008

New York Yankees ....................................2009

St. Louis Cardinals ...................................2011

Boston Red Sox ........................................2013

San Francisco Giants ................................2014

Kansas City Royals ...................................2015 * The Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals have never won a World Series.

Cubs win

The Chicago Cubs’ World Series championships:

YEAR RESULT

2016 def. Cleveland Indians 4-3

1908 def. Detroit Tigers 4-1

1907 def. Detroit Tigers 4-0

Print Headline: Finally: After 108 years, rain delay in 10th, Cubs are world champions

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