Chicago fetes Cubs with rally, pa­rade

Es­ti­mated crowd of 5 mil­lion re­joices over first ti­tle in 108 years

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Carla K. John­son and Caryn Rousseau As­so­ci­ated Press

Novem­ber blazed like daz­zling spring­time in Chicago dur­ing a mas­sive pa­rade and rally Fri­day to honor the Cubs’ first World Se­ries ti­tle in 108 years and ful­fill more than a cen­tury of pent-up dreams.

A new gen­er­a­tion of Cubs fans — rid­ing in strollers or on their par­ents’ shoul­ders — joined their elders to cheer the base­ball champions. For the youngest, the day would be their first bright mem­ory of fol­low­ing a club once known as “lov­able losers.”

Their par­ents mar­veled at how their chil­dren will know the con­fi­dent, young team as win­ners.

“It’s a whole new Cubs world,” said Dean An­der­son, 51, of Chicago, who brought his 10-year-old son, Chase, to see the play­ers’ mo­tor­cade as it rolled out from Wrigley Field at the start of the pa­rade route. The “lov­able loser thing” — and all the ac­com­pa­ny­ing lore em­broi­dered by long-suf­fer­ing fan loy­alty — may be lost to the new­est fans, An­der­son said, but “we’ve had enough of that.”

A crowd, es­ti­mated by city of­fi­cials at 5 mil­lion, lined Michi­gan Av­enue and Lake Shore Drive to cheer the mo­tor­cade of open­roofed buses car­ry­ing the play­ers along a 7-mile pa­rade route from the north side ball­park to sprawl­ing Grant Park. The city’s tally in­cluded ev­ery­one who lined the route and the rally throngs. Fri­day was al­ready a sched­uled day off for Chicago Pub­lic Schools.

Rev­el­ers crawled up trees and street­light poles to get a bet­ter view along the route. Oth­ers sat atop shoul­ders to watch the team buses shim­mer­ing un­der a spray of red and blue con­fetti.

Steve An­gelo of Chicago car­ried his 4-year-old son, Ni­cholas,

who held a “World Champs” sign. “For him, the more and more they win now, at his ear­lier age, the more

and more ex­cite­ment there is,” An­gelo said. “There’s pa­rades, and peo­ple talk about it more on the ra­dio and TV. It’s go­ing to be a lot more ex­cit­ing now.” Dur­ing the ju­bi­lant fes­tiv­i­ties at the park, 39-year-old re­tir­ing Cubs catcher David Ross

posed for a selfie in front of a mul­ti­tude of roar­ing fans.

Ross and the other play­ers put their arms around each other and sang “Go Cubs Go” from the stage along with the blissed-out crowd.

“It hap­pened, baby. It

hap­pened!” pro­claimed 27-year-old first base­man An­thony Rizzo to ador­ing cheers. Team man­ager Joe Mad­don — wear­ing a stock­ing cap, sun­glasses and a jersey over a “We did not suck” T-shirt — looked out over a sea of blue.

KIICHIRO SATO — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Fans gather at Grant Park for a rally hon­or­ing the World Se­ries cham­pion Chicago Cubs base­ball team on Fri­day in Chicago.

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